Speech by Sir Ernest Ryder, Senior President of Tribunals: Assisting Access to Justice

1. It is a real pleasure to be here today to talk about access to justice. It has been described as the most fundamental of rights that we have. Without it our other rights – whether they are rights to property, rights under contract, public law rights or human rights – are chimerical. Access to justice is ‘not just a right in itself. It is [the] key enabler for making other fundamental rights a reality.’ It is incumbent on all of us – whether judges, lawyers, law teachers, law students, just as it is of wider society – to do all we can to ensure that access to justice is such a reality. We are all called on to assist access to justice. And that is my theme today. In looking at it I want to focus on a number of necessarily related ideas:

  • a principled basis for access to justice;
  • the judiciary’s responsibility for securing effective access in order to promote the effective administration of justice and the rule of law; and
  • civic responsibility for securing effective access.
  • Sign up for alerts

  • Archives

    All speeches and media releases prior to 2012 are available in The National Archives

    Speeches archive

    Media releases archive

  • Speeches

    Speeches published on this website are personal views and do not necessarily reflect those of the judiciary as a whole.

  • Announcements