Wednesday 21 September 2022

Thank you and a few final thoughts

Just over a year ago I posted what I intended to be my final post on this blog - Last Post and Cheerio

 After publishing it, I was persuaded by some friends to continue blogging for a while longer but it is now time to call a day to frequent blogging.

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 commented.

Our nation - the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - faces

a 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 and I have 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 and, who knows, if there is a BIG story then I may say something about it. We will see).

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.

At the San Francisco Airport” by Yvor Winters

This is the terminal, the break.
Beyond this point, on lines of air,
You take the way that you must take;
And I remain in light and stare - In light, and nothing else, awake.

----- OOOOOOO -----

* 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. 

** Labour may abolish House of Lords if it wins next election, leaked report reveals | Labour | The Guardian

25 January 2023 - Legislative Scrutiny: Bill of Rights Bill (


  1. My own blog which is still offering weekly posts began in November 2009 and I too have considered when or if to stop. Your comments have always been thought provoking. As Mr Spock was wont to say, "Live long and prosper"

    1. I thought you were dead! Seriously!

    2. Thankfully, such rumours are greatly exaggerated.

  2. Thank you. It is, of course, a personal choice. I've reached a certain age where I feel I need to spend time doing other things.

    The Magistrates' Courts receive very little fair and accurate coverage despite the fact that the vast majority of criminal matters are fully dealt with in those courts. I hope you feel able to continue for a while longer.

    I really don't know whether the "lay" magistracy has much of a future. I hope it does but the countervailing signs are not encouraging and I see the number of District Judges increasing. Over the years I have encouraged several friends to apply to become JPs and some did so. I always emphasized to them that it is not something to take on lightly and certainly not for status reasons. Regrettably, several found the experience to be less than fulfilling with too much of their time being wasted due, largely, to systemic inefficiencies in the system.

    I very much appreciate the fact that a considerable number of people have shown interest in my various blogposts and I've tried to highlight some of the many serious issues facing law and justice in this country. The picture is far from rosy.

    The whole Brexit saga - (still far from being truly concluded) - took up a lot of time and energy and it demonstrated serious fault-lines in our constitutional arrangements. Those arrangements require serious examination and a number of appropriate reforms but it is unwise to leave those to political tinkering of the sort we continually see.

    A number of other blogs continue - too many to name here but there is a list at the side of the blog. A few of those blogs have been discontinued but I kept the links on here as useful references. In any event, they were part and parcel of the time I have been blogging.

    I prefer blogs offering analysis of a topic with links to additional reading for those wishing to pursue the subject further. I have little time for boastfulness or self-glorification which, I fear, does exist in some blogging and. more so, on platforms such as Twitter where the number of followers some individuals have acquired seems to be an important matter.

    Anyway, enough of my "rantings" ..... Thanks again for your comment and, whatever you decide to do about your blog, good luck.

  3. I have always read your blog posts with interest. Many thanks for your efforts & contributions over the years. Happy retirement!

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