The Rt Hon Sir Ernest Ryder


I became Master of Pembroke in July 2020, and have been enjoying getting to know members of the College community. My first terms have been unusual because we have all been operating under covid restrictions but we look forward to a resumption of a more enriched College life in due course.

My previous role was in the United Kingdom Judiciary, as Senior President of Tribunals (their head of jurisdiction) and a Lord Justice of Appeal. I have published and lectured internationally on issues of family law, the role of a modern judiciary, the leadership and governance of justice and cultural conflicts in justice. I am a Senior Associate at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, as well as sitting on a number of academic and charitable boards and foundations.

Executive Assistant

Chris Campbell-Kelly

Telephone: +44 1865 276401 

Detailed Biography


PC, Kt, TD, QC, AWS, DL, MA (Camb), LLD (Hon) (Lancaster), LLD (Hon) (Bolton), FRCP (London), FRSA


2018 to date      Chairman of the Administrative Justice Council

2015 to 2020      Senior President of Tribunals for the United Kingdom

2015 to 2020      Senior Judicial Member, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Board

2015 to 2020      Head of Deployment Strategy for the Judiciary

2013 to 2020      Lord Justice of Appeal in England & Wales

                           Course Director, Leadership and Management Development, Judicial College

2011 to 2014      Judge in charge of the modernisation of family justice

2009 to 2013      Presiding Judge of the Northern Circuit

2005 to 2009      Family Division Liaison Judge for the Northern Circuit

2004 to 2013     Justice of the High Court

2004 to date      Master of the Bench, Hon Society of Gray’s Inn


Trustee, The Nuffield Foundation

Trustee, Charities Aid Foundation

Visiting Fellow, Nuffield College, University of Oxford

Associate Writer to the Signet, Scotland

Honorary Professor of Law, University of Lancaster

Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians

Honorary Member, Society of Legal Scholars

Member of the Judicial Council of the International Association of Law Schools

Member of the Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Department for Law and Anthropology – CUREDI project), Halle, Germany

Member of the Advisory Board of the University College London and Legal Education Foundation What Works Centre for Civil and Administrative Law

Member of the Advisory Board of Birkbeck College, University of London Vulnerable People Access to Justice Project

Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Bolton

Honorary Professor of Strategic Management in the Law, Bolton

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Judicial Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers

Judicial Fellow of the American Bar Association

The Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry (formerly Officer Commanding)

Deputy Lieutenant, Greater Manchester



Clarke, Hall and Morrison on Children, LexisNexis, Consulting Editor

Child Care Management Practice, Jordans Family Law, General Editor

PLO Pro, Class Publishing, Editor

Judicial proposals for the modernisation of family justice, JO, July 2012

Being a Judge in the Modern World, Cooper (Ed.), OUP, 2017

The Modernisation of Tribunals, JO, January 2019

Open Justice, The Role of Courts in a Democratic Society, Hess and Harvey (Eds), Studies of the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg, January 2019

Judicial Leadership, Ryder and Hardy, OUP, June 2019


Recent Articles and Speeches

Justice in a Crisis: Blackstone Lecture 2021, Pembroke College, Oxford, 21 January 2021.

Securing Open Justice, Max Planck Institute for Procedural Law and Saarland University, Luxembourg, 1 February 2018 (

Assisting Access to Justice, Keele University, 15 March 2018 (

The role of the justice system in decision-making, BASPCAN 10th International Congress, University of Warwick, 9 April 2018 (

What’s Happening in Justice: A view from England and Wales, The Future of Justice, UCL, 14 May 2018 (

Justice in a Modern Way, Administrative Law Bar Association, Birmingham, 16 July 2018 (

Experts Under the Judicial Microscope, Expert Witness Institute, Westminster, 27 September 2018 (

Constitutional Norms and Modern Methods, University of Coventry, 3 October 2018 (

The Duty of Leadership in Judicial Office, Centre for Contemporary Coronial Law, University of Bolton,  22 October 2018 (

Diversity and Judgecraft, EJTN and Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Wiesbaden, Germany, 12 November 2018 (

Rapporteur’s Closing Speech, International Forum on Digital Courts, London, 4 December 2018 (

The Modernisation of Justice, Caribbean Court of Justice Academy, Kingston, Jamaica, December 2018

Driving Improvements: Collaboration and Peer Learning: Justice for All, Ombudsman Association, Belfast, May 2019

Implementation and Application of the Law: the Governance of Justice, Society of Legal Scholars, Preston, September 2019 http://www/

Slaying the Sixth Giant: the Changing Face of Justice, Bolton School, Bolton, 28 November 2019 http://www/