David Hickmott examines the Supreme Court decision in Birch v Birch and the importance of the discretionary jurisdiction in the family courts. The valedictory ceremony marking the retirements of Lords Neuberger and Clarke gave the clearest message that the Supreme Court is, and will remain, nothing if not a staunch defender of the rule of law and of the unfettered right of access to justice: On 26 July 2017 the Supreme Court promulgated into law its decision in R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor . That decision quashed prescribed fees under the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 as an unjustifiable interference with the right of access to justice under both the common law and EU law. The legal and political ramifications of the UNISON decision are potentially enormous, and bring into sharp focus the fundamental importance of access to justice. View a PDF of this article here or view it online here.