Legal significance


OCTOBER break already, so a shorter than usual Writer’s week. Holidays notwithstanding the Brexit countdown stops for no-one, a reality recognised by the upcoming Times event “The Future of Scotland”, to be held in the Signet Library next Wednesday, 25th October from 8.15am to 11.15am. The breakfast seminar will be chaired by Times columnist Kenny Farquharson for a discussion on “the challenges and opportunities for Edinburgh in the face of disruptive economic, social and political forces”. 

MEANWHILE, this week the WS Society announced the speaker for the annual dinner on 10 November, Lord Neuberger, former President of the Supreme Court. As ever, tickets for the dinner are selling fast and this year’s event promises to be another memorable evening for all Writers to the Signet and their guests.

ON THURSDAY, the Scottish government became the first in the UK to introduce an outright ban on the physical punishment of children. The children’s commissioners of the four home nations immediately called for a UK wide change in the law to give children in the rest of Britain the same rights as children in Scotland.

MEANWHILE, in the United States, President Trump is routinely referred to as an out of control toddler, beyond the reach of any disciplinary reform. This week saw the unbelievable spectacle of the President attacking former Presidents for their response to the deaths of American servicemen and women in war zones. Although this quickly became a PR disaster for the White House, it did serve to detract all attention from what would otherwise have been the lead story: this was another unbelievable spectacle, with the country’s most senior legal officer, Attorney General Jeff Sessions enduring another difficult appearance in front of the Senate judiciary committee. Sessions’ story has changed with each appearance in front of said committee, and this week his blanket denials of meeting with Russians were abandoned with the concession that substantive issues might indeed have been discussed. What has not changed in all these months of questions and probing is Sessions fondness for the phrase “I do not recall”. “You’re our nation’s top lawyer” Senator Patrick Leahy told Sessions during the hearing, “Is there a difference between responding ‘no’ and ‘I do not recall? Is that legally significant?” Sessions agreed there was... a... well, difference.

— “Writer”

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