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The Rule of Law and Access to Justice

The idea that even rulers are ruled by laws dates back to ancient Greece and has informed thinking about the use and abuse of power ever since. Key to this is an independent and impartial judiciary, and access to justice. It is also essential that all arms of government, including the executive and legislature, as well as the police, security services and other public bodies, act in accordance with the rule of law.

Tom Bingham was aware of this when he noted that, while there is a need for discretionary power in a complex society, a society's laws and officials' decisions must fulfil the qualities of rationality, fairness, intelligibility, clarity and predictability. These requirements also extend to those who are part of the legal system in its widest sense, such as government officials, in-house lawyers and the legal profession generally, as well as international organisations, such as the United Nations, the European Union, international courts and other bodies.

Current Projects

Ombudsman Offices and Effective Access to Justice: A study of international practices and trends

Access to Legal Aid in civil, administrative and family justice systems

Opening up closed judgments: balancing secrecy, security and accountability

Strengthening the Quality and Efficiency of Justice

Sentencing Criteria in International Criminal Law

Cape Town Principles on the Role of Independent Commissions in the Selection and Appointment of Judges

Past Projects

Access to Justice for Persons with Disabilities: From International Principles to Practice(2017)

International Access to Justice for Children (2016)

The Rule of Law within the Post -2015 Development Agenda

Intercept Evidence and the Rule of Law - Freedom of Information Request

International Access to Justice: Legal Aid in Criminal Cases and Redress for Victims of Violence (2015)

Judicial Review: Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 - A Review of Part 4 (May - Sept 2015)

The Appointment, Tenure and Removal of Judges under Commonwealth Principles (2015)

Measuring Policy on Access to Justice and Taxation in the United Kingdom (2015)

A UK Without Convention Rights: Freedom or Danger? - A Comparative Conversation

Centre's First Intervention: Zimbabwean Lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa

Closed Material Procedures under the Justice and Security Act 2013

EU Standards on Legal Professional Privilege for In-House Lawyers

International Access to Justice: Barriers and Solutions (2014)

Judicial Review & Legal Aid: Bingham Centre Law Reform Submissions 2013-14

Justice and Security Act 2013

Streamlining Judicial Review in a Manner Consistent with the Rule of Law