Key dates

1876 - Appellate Jurisdiction Act
Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (Law Lords) created as full-time, professional judges

1948 - Appellate Committee formed
An Appellate Committee is established so that appeal hearings no longer take place in the Chamber of the House

1963 - Judgments no longer read out in full
Judgments cease being read out in full but delivered in the Lords Chamber by way of a short statement on the outcome of an appeal

1972 - UK joins the European Economic Community (later the European Union)
The House of Lords begins to refer points involving European law to the European Court of Justice

1998 - Human Rights Act
The House of Lords may declare a law inconsistent with the European Convention on Human Rights, although it remains up to Parliament to amend the offending legislation

2005 - Constitutional Reform Act
Separates the judiciary from the legislature and the executive with the creation of a Supreme Court (from October 2009) - ending the judicial function of the House of Lords

2009 - Judicial role of House of Lords ends
The final House of Lords hearings and judgments take place on 30 July 2009. The judicial function transfers to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom from 1 October 2009

Related information

Browse archived judgments delivered by the Law Lords from 14 November 1996 to 30 July 2009