After publishing it, I was persuaded by some friends to continue blogging for a while longer but it is now time to call it a day.
The blog commenced on 14 January 2010 - (A new blog) and, over the last twelve years, many stories of legal interest have been covered. Preparing the posts has been interesting, at times challenging, and time-consuming.
2357 posts have been published with, at the time of writing, just over 3,018,000 pageviews. I am grateful to the many who have shown interest and comment.
Our nation - the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - facesa world that is problematic on numerous serious levels. Internationally, it will be necessary to have as many friends as possible.
At the same time, the nation faces internal divisions with serious questions over Scottish independence and whether, in the yet to be finalised aftermath of Brexit, a unified Ireland will come about.
HM King Charles III has succeeded to the throne at a time when loud and increasingly persistent voices press for an end to monarchy and the creation of a Republic.
Such calls are easy to make but, far too often, they are not thought through in any detail.
The removal of the Monarchy would entail removal of the legal entity known to lawyers as "the Crown." That would be a major constitutional and legal change and it is questionable whether it can be properly achieved without the adoption of a formal constitution setting out the future arrangements.*
For my part, I hope that our nation remains united simply because there is strength in such unity. I also prefer to keep the Monarchy than to have various politicians fighting, at huge expense, to become President.
Monarchy or Republic: Formal Constitution: Those are just some of the questions the nation will have to deal with. Others include the method for electing the House of Commons and how, if at all, the House of Lords might be reformed.** Parliament must reform itself so that it becomes more able to hold the executive to account.
Then there is the question of rights and fundamental freedoms. Although present government's Bill of Rights Bill has been put aside for a review it is unlikely that reform has been abandoned.
Yet another serious concern is the legal aid system for representation in the courts. Legal aid rates are very low for most criminal cases and even an acquittal can leave the individual in severe financial difficulties. In Magistrates' Courts a reasonably well-off defendant may find that legal aid is not available due to means testing. In civil cases, legal aid was severely cut back by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).
The amount of time spent in producing blogposts is considerable. Research has to be done, cases and articles must be read and posts prepared.
The blog has been a great interest to me but I now depart the field with no regrets. The blog will remain online and I hope that some of the posts may be of value in the future. (I may do brief updates to some of the posts where this appears to be necessary).
Please keep up your interest in legal matters and, above all, read as widely and as in depth as possible. It is rarely, if at all, wise to rely on just one source of either information or opinion.
Thanks to one and all who have shown interest. Good luck and best wishes for the future.
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* What would a formal constitution need to contain? As a minimum, such a constitution would need to -
1) define how the nation is made up and what form it takes - constitutional monarchy or republic
2) be something that could not be easily changed at the whim of the latest government to hold power
3) belong to the people who would cease to be "subjects" which, in an Address to the King, the Lord Speaker repeatedly reminded us we were
4) set out the system of governance - executive, legislative, judicial
5) set out the legally-enforceable rights and responsibilities of citizenship.