Robert Rinder: ‘Law is meaningless unless everybody has access to it’

The barrister and TV judge, who is now a Shelter ambassador, on why he’s passionate about tackling housing inequality

“I feel like a horse that has been waiting to bolt on this for years,” says Robert Rinder. The barrister, celebrity and star of the popular courtroom daytime TV reality show Judge Rinder has been appointed as a legal services ambassador for the housing charity Shelter. It has given him an opportunity to talk about social justice, and he doesn’t hold back.

His views come tumbling out, from street homelessness (“it is hard to think of a more poignant example of [social] failure”) to the dire lack of social housing, the short-sighted dismantling of legal aid, and the complexity of the benefit system (“one gets the creeping sense that it is made as challenging as possible for those who need it to be as easy as possible”).

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