At the UK Supreme Court some are apparently unhappy with its designated domain name.  Apologies for being slightly behind with this story — but then the Sunday Telegraph society gossip page isn’t our usual source for domain-related news.

A reader points out that the judiciary are separate from the government and parliament, and as a law-degree drop-out I can recall just enough of Prof Walker‘s lectures to agree that the separation of powers is a critical part of the UK constitution, and it’s misleading to consider a court as being part of the government.

But perhaps Lord Hope’s suggestion of supremecourt.uk isn’t ideal either. This led thinking about the organization of .uk domains in general — which groups should have their own second-level domain?

The problem with supremecourt.uk is that the separation argument applies just as well to all the rest of the country’s courts, and each having their own second-level domain seems excessive. Just putting a dot in there, as supreme.court.uk would solve that, creating a .court.uk level for use by all courts.

Or we could go the other way and say that the institutions of state don’t actually need separate domains; we just need to pick a single word that any of the courts, government, and parliament can use without it sounding biased to just one of them. I’m struggling a bit with that one though — any suggestions?

The UK public sector as a whole has managed to claim a whole slew of second-level domains, such as .police.uk, .nhs.uk, and .mod.uk, all separate from the the government department responsible for them; and education gets both .ac.uk and .sch.uk.

In contrast the entire private sector is lumped together in .co.uk. A local flower shop, a radio station, a restaurant, a children’s comic, a casino, an online listings magazine, an airport, a band — they all have to share a second-level domain, possibly competing for their domain names with quite different sorts of businesses which just happen to have similar names.

What do you think? Do you like the current situation, or should Nominet introduce more second-level domains for UK businesses? If so, which would you like to see? Let us know in the comments. And what about firefighters — the police and the health service have their own second-level domains, so why not the fire brigade?

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