Lord Neuberger on the rule of law and access to justice

Public Law for Everyone

Last night, Lord Neuberger, the President of the UK Supreme Court, gave the 2013 Tom Sargant Memorial Lecture. His text, available here, is worth reading in full, but here are some choice excerpts.

The rule of law, said Lord Neuberger, “can mean different things”:

At its most basic, the expression connotes a system under which the relationship between the government and citizens, and between citizen and citizen, is governed by laws which are followed and applied. That is rule by law, but the rule of law requires more than that. First, the laws must be freely accessible: that means as available and as understandable as possible. Secondly, the laws must satisfy certain requirements; they must enforce law and order in an effective way while ensuring due process, they must accord citizens their fundamental rights against the state, and they must regulate relationships between citizens in a just way. Thirdly, the laws must be…

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