My 2016 in Review

Another year, yet another reflective blog post.

2016 has been quite a year, eh? From an apparent glut of celebrity deaths, to the UK vote for Brexit, to the US vote for Trump, there is plenty to write about. I will not add many words here on those topics (except Brexit, see below). Rather, I will do my usual and crunch the stats on my blog to give a rundown of my most popular posts, reflect on what I have been up to, and also acknowledge that 2016 has (like 2015) been gloriously uneventful for me in terms of health issues.

Taking that last point first, I am grateful there has been absolutely no cancer blogging from me this year. It has been a year of being upgraded from 3-monthly to 6-monthly check-ups and keeping on keeping on. Sure, 2016 has had a few (non-health) challenges for me along the way, but nothing so cataclysmic as to prevent me going into 2017 with a sense of thrawn optimism about the various projects that I hope to be involved with this coming year.

In terms of what I was up to in 2016, this included my semi-traditional mixture of law/land reform/law clinic type events, which are blogged or Storified as follows:

The ALPS Conference in Belfast (and a related event at the University of Glasgow);

Some ad hoc land reform events, including Scottish Land & Estates’ Spring Conference (details of which can be found at the previous link), a presentation to land agents for a RICS Scotland training day in Perth, the RIC Conference in Glasgow (note that “RIC” there stands for the “Radical Independence Campaign” – this RIC is very different to the already mentioned “RICS”, which stands for “Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors”), a presentation to an SNP branch meeting in Ellon, and a breakfast briefing on land reform and Brexit with the Press & Journal at Thainstone.

The Scottish University Law Clinic Network 2016 workshop at Glasgow Caledonian University (and see this related blog post about me assuming some kind of coordinator role for that network);

Some Brexit-related legal musing (in relation to consumer rights, the environment and land reform); and

My own land reform party at the University of Aberdeen, on 25 and 26 August (which is Storified here, analysed for the journal SPEL here, and reflected on more personally here)

Publications wise, in addition to the analysis of that conference in SPEL, I had articles in the Environmental Law Review and Juridical Review journals on the topic of (you guessed it) land reform. I also submitted two chapters to edited collections, one of which is on legal models of community ownership in Scotland (and is out for peer review at the moment), the other is on an owner’s right to exclude others from her property. That second chapter is for the festschrift in honour of my late colleague Professor David Carey Miller (see below). I suspect both could need a bit of a refresh and/or rework when I get comments from the various editors/reviewers back, but the main thing is I got both submitted and I hope they will see light of day soon enough. I also had shorter notes in the Journal of the Law Society or Scotland (yes, on land reform) and the Scots Law Times (relating to an interesting sheriff court decision about corporeal moveable property), and submitted a book review and a case note to the Edinburgh Law Review.

[UPDATE 10 January 2017.] I should also mention my note in Geographical Magazine. Also on land reform, with some bonnie photos.


My top five base drones of 2016 (excluding the blog’s churning home page) follow, but to focus on this WordPress blog would not quite give the full story. My most popular piece was actually this tribute to David Carey Miller, which is hosted at another WordPress site that I curate (for the School of Law at the University of Aberdeen). That was written in February and I am delighted that I have now  submitted the paper that I refer to in that post (and indeed in this post) to the editors of his festschrift. Separately, my post at the School of Law blog about access to land and augmented reality gaming was also quite popular.

[UPDATE: 4 January 2017.] A separate mention should also go to this article in the online open-access forum The Conversation, Can you become a Scottish laird for £29.99? Not quite, which also scored higher than anything on this WordPress blog.

Returning to matters basedrones, the most visited posts were as follows:

In 3rd place, Some reflections on the EU Referendum and a note on #indyref2. I suppose there is much more that I could say about Brexit, but I am not sure this is the place to do so. What I will do is flag that there are posts on the School of Law blog covering a variety of Brexit related issues. I will also take this opportunity to air my tweeted thread about losers’ consent, which I think still stands as we try to work out what the heck it is that Brexit means.

In 4th place, Land Reform Bill – Stage 2.

In 5th place, What is happening at Glenree? Land reform and agricultural holdings in microcosm, one year on.

(Actually, 5th place technically went to #HighlandTitlesDay, but to an extent that is wrapped up with top-ranking DMCA blog post. Also, two older posts (relating to the indycamp and souvenir plots) ranked in my top 5 posts for traffic this year, but I have restricted this analysis to 2016 posts only.)

What next?

I have some research leave to look forward to. I am grateful to the research committee at the School of Law at the University of Aberdeen for facilitating this. My main task for 2017 is to justify their faith in me by getting some work done. I might try to mitigate my social media usage and blogging while I am doing that. Tune back in next year to see how I have got on with that.

Thanks for reading. All the best for 2017.

About basedrones

Bachelor of Laws. Scots lawyer working at the University of Aberdeen. English law qualified. Took far too long to write this bio. Blogs on legal issues, with occasional veering into other purportedly intellectual stuff from time to time. Tweets about legal issues, education, law clinics, fitba, music, rogue cell division and not at all about politics at @MalcolmCombe.
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