Lord Phillips, the Supreme Court’s president from its inception until his retirement last year, also has fond memories. “It had a lot of attractions. In parliament you rubbed shoulders with a lot of interesting people, you could listen to debates, and had a wider role.But it was not user-friendly as far as the public was concerned, and the theoretical fault was overwhelming.”

Which definition of fault applies in this quote at about 70% down the page, 2 paragraphs above the picture of a library? Can't even definition 3 apply here figuratively, as a break? Please explain the steps or thought processes, for want of doing so by myself in the future?


2 Answers 2


I believe he's is talking about parliament here not the Supreme Court.

“It had a lot of attractions. In parliament...

In that case I take the meaning of "fault" to be borrowing a geological term - eg, a fault line. From oxford:

Geology: An extended break in a rock formation, marked by the relative displacement and discontinuity of strata on either side of a particular plane: a landscape broken by numerous faults

I think the speaker was criticising the gaps or cracks between theory and practice within the process of parliament. It might be taken to be a polite way to mean that process is "broken".


I think he is talking about a *fault" in the system (the Court not being public oriented) that the writer seems to think was misguided.
As such I would say sense 1.2 applies here. You could say:

It was the fault of the Supreme Court for having a poor relationship with the public.

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