26 July 2017
The Rt Hon Sir Ernest Ryder, Senior President of the Tribunals, was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws (honoris causa) during the graduation ceremony on Tuesday 18th July. This is the speech he made to the graduands.

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Fellow Members of the University, Honoured Guests

Graduation day is a day of pleasure – sharing success with families and friends and taking justifiable pride in your achievements. As Chancellor Emeritus of another place, I enjoyed these days more than any other and I can still say that 10,000 handshakes later. May I share my sincere congratulations with each of you?

Today is also a stepping stone to the future – for some of you it many seem to be more like a launch pad. As you leave the security of our University behind, what should you take with you? The success of Lancaster is forged in its people: you, your colleagues and your teachers. Never forget what you bring to that success. Be yourself wherever the future takes you: whether in academia, business or the professions. Never let unethical practice that harms others interfere in what you do – that is the foundation stone of observational justice – what we collectively perceive as the effect on us of the decisions made by others. When you make decisions that affect others always think about the effect on them. Do not be afraid to use your talent and be passionate about it. Among you today will be leaders of people, leading strategists and thinkers, technologists and researchers. Whichever way your talent takes you, don’t be afraid of using it. I now have the enormous privilege of leading more than 5,000 judges across the United Kingdom and I also lead a £1Bn programme that will change the justice system in England and Wales. The skills needed to do that were instilled in me by my parents and friends, at school and at university. I hope that the person I was then is still the same person that I am now.

Be true to yourself, be proud of your heritage, your family, friends, schools and your university and use your achievements to good effect for the benefit of all.

Thank you.