Date: 13Sep 2017

Full video of lecture by The Right Hon. the Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, President of the UK Supreme Court, entitled “Judges, Access to Justice, the Rule of Law and the Court of Final Appeal under ‘One Country Two Systems’.” Lecture held 13th September at the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law. Organized by the HKU Law Faculty’s Centre for Comparative and Public Law.

Almost all serious people agree that the rule of law is one of the few essential ingredients of a civilised society. The rule of law is much discussed these days, but its meaning can vary – from one legal school of thought to another, from one part of the world to another, and from one age to another.

Almost every version of the rule of law includes judges as an integral part, and many aspects of the judicial function are almost universal but some are not. The existence of judges can fairly be said to carry with it a requirement for access to justice, which many consider to be an essential ingredient of the rule of law.

Whatever country one considers, the rule of law, the judiciary and access to justice all face challenges. The lecture will consider some aspects of those challenges and what they say about the rule of law, both in theory and in practice. In particular, the lecture will focus on the Court of Final Appeal (of which Lord Neuberger has been a Non-Permanent Judge since 2010) in its globally unique context of “one country two systems”.

Lord Neuberger was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1974, taking silk in 1987. He became a high Court judge in 1996, moving up to the Court of Appeal in 2004. He was appointed Master of the Rolls in 2009 and then a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in 2007. He will be retiring as President of the UK Supreme Court later this year. Since 2010, Lord Neuberger has been a Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong.