Supreme court

highest court in a jurisdiction

A supreme court also known as a court of last resort and court of final appeal, is generally the highest court in a country.[1] This means that, decisions made by the Supreme Court can't be challenged at other courts. However, not all highest courts are named as such. Civil law countries do not tend to have only one high court. Additionally, the highest court in some jurisdictions is not named the "Supreme Court". For example, the High Court of Australia. In some places the court named the "Supreme Court" is not the highest court. Examples include the New York Supreme Court, the Supreme Courts of several provinces and territories of Canada and the former Supreme Court of Judicature of England and Wales. Decisions made in these courts are all subject to higher courts of appeal. Some countries have a separate constitutional court, a high court that deals with issues regarding that country's constitution.

Political issues


Many, like the Supreme Court of the United States, at times become involved in political issues.[2] These include the Supreme Courts of Egypt, Pakistan, Israel, India and Kuwait.[2] One of the most controversial political decisions was Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000),[3] a United States Supreme Court decision that resolved the dispute surrounding the 2000 United States presidential election.[4] There has been a good deal of controversy over the European Court of Justice reviewing decisions made by member state governments.[5] The president of the Supreme Court of Israel, Aharon Barak, has been criticized for, along with others, dominating the government of Israel.[5]


  1. "Supreme Court". Farlex/Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Katie Cella (25 June 2012). "The World's Most Meddlesome Supreme Courts". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  3. Jared Thompson. "A Supremely Bad Decision: The Majority Ruling in Bush v. Gore". Swarthmore College. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  4. Adam Cohen (15 August 2006). "Has Bush v. Gore Become the Case That Must Not Be Named?". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Patricia J. Woods, Judicial Power and National Politics (Albany, NY: Suny Press, 2008), p. 1

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