LONDON, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- The head of Britain's new Supreme Court says he hopes the court's justice selection process doesn't become politicized like in the United States.
Nicholas Addison Phillips, president of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, tells The Times of London he is "bound to say" more public scrutiny of nominees to the high court than done previously "is a perfectly legitimate state of affairs."
But he opposes "the type of appointments process they have in the (United) States, which tends to politicize the Supreme Court," he said.
The British Supreme Court, which started work Thursday, takes over judicial functions of the House of Lords as part of Britain's Constitutional Reform Act 2005.
The court is the last resort in all matters under English, Welsh and Northern Irish law.
But unlike other supreme courts, it has no power to nullify acts of Parliament as unconstitutional. It also has no authority over criminal cases in Scotland where the High Court of Justiciary remains the supreme criminal court.
But the court may rule in cases where Northern Ireland, Scottish and Welsh laws or government powers are questioned.
The justices, formerly called law lords or Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, have moved out of the House of Lords and into the former Middlesex Guildhall in Parliament Square, which has had a $123 million makeover.
Eleven of the 12 justices have been appointed. All but one are men. The youngest is 61 and the oldest is 73.
"None is a household name and most lawyers would struggle to name them all," The Times observed.