Speech by Lord Justice Ryder, Senior President of Tribunals at the Legal Wales Conference 2015 on 9 October 2015.
Imagine Rhyl on a sunny day. Difficult I know. Away from the peeling paint of ageing Victorian glory, MDF advertisement boards, coloured light bulbs that had long ago ceased to illuminate and neon signs that spoke of an earlier age of amusements, there was His Honour the late Judge Michael Farmer.
Modernisation or even reform and Michael were not likely to be words heard in the same breath but despite that I hope he would have forgiven me for saying that he epitomised the judge who could change anything to make it work. He understood that you cannot have reform done to you. You have to want it, participate in it, improve it as you go along.
He would have told you that the process of change is ultimately being involved in doing the job i.e. delivering justice in the individual case. That is why Michael was so good. He changed lives. He focussed on the quality of outcomes and that is what the family justice reforms were all about….