Blackstone Lecture

Date and time

21 Jan 2021 17:30

The annual Blackstone Lecture will be given this year by The Rt Hon Sir Ernest Ryder. This lecture will take place virtually on the 21st of January at 5.30pm and is kindly sponsored by Atkin Chambers

Amidst the clash of arms, the law is not silent.  But the question to be answered is how is it to be effective in and after a crisis?  That is a question not simply about the rule of law but about justice and its systems.  It is about the dignity of people in our communities and how the common good ought to be pursued by the State so that the trust, respect and confidence of people in the rule of law is maintained.  Political, normative and empirical perspectives will be considered in answer to the question.  This year’s Blackstone Lecturer, the Rt Hon Sir Ernest Ryder, will explore principles, priorities, examples and solutions in a wide ranging debate about Justice in a Crisis.

Register for this event by clicking here

About the Series

When in the early 1970s a generous benefactor of Pembroke College suggested the establishment of a distinguished lecture series in law sponsored by the College, no similar event existed in Oxford’s Law Faculty. The Blackstone Lectures have since 1976 provided audiences with the distilled thoughts of the most distinguished legal minds of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

About the Speaker

Sir Ernest is a distinguished member of the judiciary, who has also served the higher education sector and the wider community in a variety of capacities. 

Educated at Bolton School and Peterhouse, Cambridge, Sir Ernest was called to the bar in 1981 and became a QC in 1997.  He was appointed a Justice of the High Court in 2004 and was both the Presiding Judge of the Northern Circuit and its Family Division Liaison Judge.  He was the judge in charge of the modernisation of family justice that led to the creation of the Family Court.

In 2013 Sir Ernest was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal, and in 2015 was appointed Senior President of Tribunals for the UK.  This has involved leading the largest specialist part of the judicial system, with more than 5,500 judicial office holders working across the four different legal jurisdictions of the UK.  He also leads a £1bn change transformation programme for the justice system which aims to modernise the courts and tribunals system.

Sir Ernest has written and lectured widely on family law, the role of a modern judiciary, the leadership and governance of justice, and cultural conflicts in justice.  He has research interests in a variety of socio-legal areas, and is a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College Oxford, as well as sitting on the Advisory Boards of various European Institutes and Universities on research concerning access to justice. 

As a Trustee of the Nuffield Foundation, Sir Ernest has worked with colleagues to develop a sustainable model for research in justice, welfare and education, and to integrate quantitative and economic work into many of the Foundation’s justice projects.  He is the Chair of the Administrative Justice Council and holds Honorary Professorships at the Universities of Lancaster and Bolton.

Between 2014 and 2017 Sir Ernest was Chancellor of the University of Bolton, and he continues his involvement in his home area as a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester. 

In 2020, Sir Ernest became the Master of Pembroke College, as well as Senior Associate of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies in the Department of Law.

About the Sponsor

Atkin Chambers has an international reputation as one of the leading barristers chambers as specialist advocates and experts in all forms of dispute resolution across a wide range of sectors including construction and engineering, infrastructure, energy and natural resources, shipbuilding and offshore construction, transport, IT and telecommunications, and professional negligence.