Sunday, 6 September 2009

UK Supreme Court Part II

As promised I would publish the correspondence between myself and the Ministry of Justice with regards to the issue of the logo of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom - the greatest judicial farce in the modern British history.

Yasser Mehmood

Please contact Rob Boyland, Communications Manager, Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Tel: 020 7960 1887,


Dear Mr. Boyland,

I write to you with regards to the new Supreme Court. It has dawned upon me that the emblem that you yourself so proudly display on your homepage and the one which was approved by the HM the Queen is not the actual emblem which is actually displayed in the court itself.

Here is the link to your own announcement of the new emblem (may I draw your attention to the St. Edwards crown).

Here is a link to an album provided by the BBC of the new Supreme Court - please make your way to the first picture in the album. There seems to be a distinct lack of the St. Edwards crown in the emblem as displayed in the new Supreme Court. Instead there is an emblem which does not have the approval of the HM the Queen, so it must be assumed since there are no references to the monarchy. If one were to continue to trawl through the album as displayed by the BBC then there is more evidence of emblems which do not have the crown.

If my question has not given itself away by now I shall add it for clarity; why is not the emblem displayed which was approved by HM the Queen? Has the government taken it upon itself to ignore Royal Prerogative?

Yours Sincerely
Robert Boyland
Thank you for your enquiry.
We have several versions of our emblem which it is agreed that we can use. We are allowed to use different versions artistically as it will be used on a large variety of items and occasions. This is fairly common practice with emblems and logos. Where appropriate the formal logo with the Crown has been used, for instance on the homepage and prominently at the front of the building.
I hope this helps answer your question.
Kind regards,

Dear Mr. Boyland,

Thank you for your reply. I can see how you would think that this is common practise, yet for the businesses that I have worked for, I cannot recall anyone having used that practise. Agreed, this is a government arm yet were the other emblems approved by the Queen as well (you said that you had agreed to use the other emblems, but who agreed to this)? On a further note, all the other government branches e.g. the Foreign Office only use the Royal Coat of Arms as their main identifier along with their name.

Not yet understanding what kind of relationship you are intending for the Supreme Court with the public, surely using more than one identifier will confuse people not in the least people like myself; who find it astonishing that the government has the audacity to abolish the Law Lords but then insult the monarchy even further by not following common practise i.e. to use the St. Edwards Crown on governmental departments.

Moreover who decides when it is appropriate to use the primary logo with the crown? When would occasion arise when it would not be appropriate to accentuate that Britain is a constitutional monarchy and that the Crown has Royal Prerogative?

As you can see Mr. Boyland I am confused.

Kind Regards
Robert Boyland
I hope the following clarifies things for you. The logo containing the Crown will be used in all formal correspondence and as I have said is a main identifying feature at the entrance to the building. The emblem combines the four heraldic elements of the three legal jurisdictions of the UK - England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. At its formal level, the emblem is surmounted by the Crown, as the Monarch is the source of the Court's authority.

Our aim is always to apply the emblem thoughtfully and appropriately to reflect the activities of the Supreme Court. The versions of the logo are designed to be versatile enough to be interpreted in different ways - that reflect the authority of the institution it symbolises, but also the open and accessible nature of the building with its visitor spaces and public art. This is why the semi-formal logo is used in the foyer within which you highlight in your link. This semi-formal version will also be used on visitor leaflets.

The logo with the Crown will be used in all formal applications where the authority of the Supreme Court and its relationship to the Crown is to be emphasised, such as judgments, reports, Justice's stationery, formal invitations, etc and to reiterate is a main identifying feature at the front of the building. The Royal Coat of Arms will also go above the main entrance.

The way the logo is applied is a clear and sensible way of distinguishing between formal and more informal communications and in no way undermines the relationship of the Court to the Crown.
Yours sincerely,


Rob Boyland
Communications Manager
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Parliament Square,
London SW1P 3BD
Tel: 020 7960 1887


What did we learn from all of this then? Well, besides from the obvious one that the Ministry of Justice has yet to decide which font they are to go with, not much.

Their logic does not work at all instead "Rob" goes onto explain to me what the logo actually looks like assuming that my powers of perception are towered over by his, the communications manager of the MoJ. You understand dear reader we are not to make our own judgements about the Supreme Court, nor are we to criticise it. Our silent and obedient consent is all that they require and need.

When or Why, on earth would the Supreme Court be used in an informal way? Surely the term 'Supreme' comes with at least a modicum of superiority and the required respect for such authority. Whatever it may be it is not a social science project run by some erstwhile council, who can quite rightly pander to its differences. Thus, regardless of my sincere opposition to its establishment, it should not be made into a farce by this ridiculous little man "Rob", who undoubtedly had a part to play in its establishment (how do you think he got his job), and his claque just because they think they will be 'miss-understood' by the school children who come to visit. Am I making mountains out of molehills? No, a symbol is given power by people and the people of the UK are very affectionate towards the monarchy. We turn our patriotism towards the Queen no the political establishment (like America). If we take away the people the symbol losses its meaning but if we take away the part of the symbol which reaffirms our affection it losses its meaning as well. It is so profoundly stupid that I cannot, for my life, see why they decided to go with this non-option.

"Oii ladies fancy a couple of pints down at the Supreme Court, should be a good blast eyyy?!"

It is the highest judicial authority in the UK and yet it needs two logos one formal and one informal. You can see that at this point I gave up my endeavour with "Rob" as it was leading nowhere. Apparently for the Supreme Court to be open and accessible it needs two logos.

I imagine that if it applies to the Supreme Court why not also to Parliament? We would then have four logos; two for the House of Commons and two for the House of Lords. The armed forces are not to be spared either; they are to adopt one logo for visitors day so as to not insult sensibilities of the civilian population; no Union-Jacks - that would make us racist, no swords (in case of the army) - people might get the idea that we actually kill people and definately no Lion (in case of the army) - people might think we support the poaching of this endangered species.

This is New Labour doing what it does best; destruction of character. Just so we do not forget why they did this in the first place lets recall. The reform of the Law Lords was motivated by concerns that the historical admixture of legislative, judicial, and executive power might not be in conformance with the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights, because a judicial officer, having legislative or executive power, is likely not to be considered sufficiently impartial to provide a fair trial. Yet it has worked perfectly well since 1876 when the Law Lords came into existence under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876.

But I am sure we could not spend £60 million on something better (that is to say that the Supreme Court will cost £58 million more to run, annually, than the Law Lords).

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