It was very kind of you to invite me to speak tonight here at the Natural History Museum. I hope my short contribution will be less antediluvian than some of the exhibits we shall be amongst over dinner.
I am keen to speak tonight about the important work of the Rolls Building and the real value of the international reputation of our law and our judges in the post-Brexit world.
But before I do let me start by saying why I will not be saying anything about the issues that have arisen recently in relation to the Miller decision and the independence of the judiciary.
I shall not be saying anything about that for one very good reason. That is that judges do not comment publicly on court decisions or the commentary that sometimes follows them, particularly those that are still under appeal; and nor should they.
Society respects judges because they are independent in every respect both individually and systemically, and because they stand apart from and do not participate in the political debate.
Judges are frequently called upon to decide legal questions that arise between citizens and the government, and it is crucial that both retain absolute confidence in their impartiality.