In most UKSC cases, at least 1 QC and 1 junior barrister appear for each party to the case. Often, multiple QC's and multiple juniors appear. But I have stumbled on exceptions like

Rule out legal costs and fees as a reason. Obviously, SSWP and Her Majesty’s Attorney General are wealthy enough to instruct QC's.

And these cases can't simply be easier! If a case were straightforward, it would never have been litigated or appealed up to the UKSC, or been permitted by the UKSC to appeal!

  • Just a guess, but it may be a right of passage en route from being a junior barrister to a QC, in much the way that at some point, every young barrister does their first big stakes jury trial as a first chair lawyer, and might be reserved for junior barristers just on the brink of being trusted enough to make that transition.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jul 30, 2022 at 1:49
  • 2
    Indeed, the barrister in this case was appointed QC just a few months later: 5rb.com/news/… Commented Jul 30, 2022 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


I think the answer is that, despite the wording in the question, this case is simply easier. Note that the Attorney General is listed as the applicant, rather than the appellant.

The case is a straightforward action for contempt of court but since the court in question is the Supreme Court, it heard the case itself (although with a different set of judges).

  • 2
    This case seems to be particularly straightforward. The contempt charge is for publishing a court decision early, while it was still under embargo. The defendant posted the document on Twitter with a statement that he had deliberately chosen to violate the embargo and knew that it constituted contempt of court. His only defense was to claim that his actions were justified by the severity of climate change, but the law does not allow for any justification defense for contempt. A pretty classic "smoking gun". Commented Jul 30, 2022 at 16:58
  • Does my edit change your answer?
    – user49089
    Commented Aug 6, 2022 at 6:03

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