School of Law

Research Student: Byron Karemba

An Investigation into the Constitutional Functions and Status of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Photo of Byron Karemba

My thesis is an investigation into the constitutional functions and status of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (UKSC). My thesis investigates whether the UKSC has a constitutional jurisdiction. It examines the court’s “constitutional” jurisprudence in four contexts:

  • Devolution and the Territorial Constitution
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Development of the Common Law
  • Relationship between the UKSC and the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union.

My wider academic interests lie in constitutional law and theory, legal theory and legal history. I am particularly interested in the judicial branch of government and its relationships with the political arms of the state. Primarily, researching the institutional capacity of courts relative to that of other constitutional actors, including looking at courts as agents for social change and forums for democratic participation and deliberation. As such, my research engages issues such as judicial competence, judicial diversity, judicial appointments and judicial independence.  


I attained a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of York in 2013. Thereafter, I earned a Master’s of Arts Degree in Political and Legal Theory, focusing on historical and contemporary accounts of the concept of toleration. The MA was funded through a scholarship from the Morrell Centre for Toleration at the University of York.

I started my doctoral studies in Constitutional Law and Theory at Leeds in 2014. I am a recipient of the University of Leeds 110th Anniversary Scholarship. I plan to pursue a career at the Bar alongside my academic work in the future.


I have taught on the Constitutional Law and Administrative Law Module alongside my supervisor Professor Ian Cram and Dr Chloe Wallace. In 2016, I co-convened the Inaugural University of Leeds School of Law PhD Conference. This conference was supported by a grant gained through an application to the School of Law Strategic Research Fund. Since July 2016, I have been the Web-Content Assistant for the Judicial Diversity Initiative. This is a cross-institutional project which supports research on the equal participation of women and men from diverse backgrounds in the judiciary in England and Wales.

Between July and August 2016, I was a Student visitor at the University of New South Wales’ G+T Centre for Public Law.


Conference Papers and Presentations


  • The Honourable Society of The Middle Temple – Student Member
  • United Kingdom Constitutional Law Association – Blog Contributor
  • Socio-Legal Studies Association – Student Member
  • United Kingdom Association for European Law – Student Member



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