Many bloggers have a habit of writing a reflective blog post at the end of the year. I am one such blogger. This year, I have some topics that I think merit standalone blog posts. This is a post on the first of those.
Earlier this year, I was asked to join the editorial board of the Juridical Review, the law journal of the Scottish Universities. When Professor Jane Mair of the University of Glasgow put the question of whether I would like to be one of two Case and Comment editors (alongside Dr Rebecca Zahn, of the University of Strathclyde), I swithered for about four seconds then realised it was a “no brainer”. Roughly ten years ago, the Juridical Review carried my first legal article, so I have something of a personal attachment to the journal. It also has a long pedigree, dating back to 1889. I was honoured to be asked.
The new editorial board (also featuring Dr Claire McDiarmid, another Strathclyder, and Dr Alan Brown, of Abertay University) has now navigated its way to the end of its first year. Three of its four 2017 issues had “Case and Comment” pieces, on matters including criminal law, employment law, access to justice, human rights, and family law. I have enjoyed playing a part in seeking and poring over contributions, and working with peer reviewers who kindly offered their expertise in relation to subject specialisms (thanks, folks).
As for the discipline of offering shorter notes in this REF-era, as someone who is on a teaching/research contract I can well appreciate the pressure to write longer pieces. I would submit that, away from REF, this internet era coupled with associated and independent competition for everyone’s precious time creates a climate that is still suitable for short, punchy, surgical writing. (See, for example, this note by Andrew Jensen Kerr in the Journal of Legal Education, entitled “Writing the Short Paper.) Accordingly, I hope that Case and Comment can play a useful role in relation to the development and science of the law in Scotland and beyond.
If you have anything you would like to contribute, I would be happy to hear from you. Submissions for Case and Comment should usually be in the 2,000-3,000 words range.