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Speech by Sir Ernest Ryder: Raising the Bar: Innovation and global opportunity for a forward thinking profession


Keynote address at the Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference 2016.

The theme of this year’s conference is innovation and opportunity: the life blood of a liberal profession. Come back with me, if you will, to the year 1873. Levi Strauss patented his copper riveted overalls – jeans to you and me, Girton College opened for business as the first women-only college in Cambridge, Gladstone was Prime Minister and nearly 40 years into the Victorian era, the first of the Judicature Acts was passed which reformed the judiciary and the structure of our courts.

Innovation, diversity and access to justice were three of the issues that benefited from the focus given to them by the great minds of their day. 1873 was a year with interesting parallels to 2016. Not everything went well. In Chipping Norton, rioters attempted to free sixteen women who had been imprisoned for attempting to dissuade a strike-breaker; John Stuart Mill died; and Alexandra Palace burnt down just two weeks after being built……


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