In with the new


WRITER AND WALTER generally return to Parliament Square with the opening of the legal year, however this autumn saw a marginally longer hiatus. Sightings of a Scottie dog with a great deal of attitude have been reported in recent days, which has been reassuring for everyone at the Signet Library. October and November are always busy months for the WS Society, and Tuesday this week saw a lunch to welcome the Society’s newest office bearer, Reema Mannah WS. DKS Caroline Docherty WS, Fiscal Mandy Laurie WS, Treasurer Roddy Bruce WS, Clerk James Rust WS, Rachel Wood WS and CEO Robert Pirrie WS all attended to welcome the newest member of the Office Bearer group.

WEDNESDAY was just one of many occasions throughout any working week when Principal Researcher James Hamilton introduces visitors to the Signet Library. In this case, the library welcomed a group of postgraduate students from Edinburgh University’s Centre for the History of the Book. As always for such visits, treasures from the WS archives were displayed in the West Library, chosen for their particular interest, in this case some sixteenth century texts, and the first bible printed in Scots.

NOBODY visiting the West Library can fail to appreciate the infinite number of treasures the WS Society owns and protects for future generations. Each week sees new engagement with third parties from the worlds of academia, business, literature, heritage, film and television. 

EQUALLY, with the tumultuous events both at home and abroad, the place of the law and lawyers in society is increasingly at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Whether it is the declaration – or not – of independence in Catalonia, the tortuous Brexit saga, or the increasingly surreal presidency of Donald Trump in the US, legal experts are being called upon both behind the scenes and in the television studios and media to interpret what is becoming the “new normal”.

THE ROLE of the Supreme Court in the US is inevitably more high profile than the equivalent body in the UK. A number of reports in the media this week delighted in a rare case of a stinging judicial put-down going viral. New SC appointee Neil Gorsuch, has, according to the New Yorker, been irritating colleagues with his behaviour, whether it is making speeches at the Trump hotel in Washington, or dominating the oral arguments of the court. This week in a gerrymandering case, Gorsuch, an originalist and textualist, took another opportunity to criticize the court for creating rights that are not in the original constitution. Liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, aged 84, can – misleadingly – appear disengaged, and didn’t even raise her head as she delivered the zinger, “Where did ‘one person one vote’ come from?” As the New Yorker reported, “There might have been an audible woo that echoed through the courtroom”. Gorsuch was silent for the rest of the arguments. 

FINALLY, the latest Signet magazine is out so look out for your copy arriving soon.

— “Writer”

Writer's Week is not intended to represent the views of the WS Society or its members.