The Journal Online Jan 2011

Website review 1

Eleven Scots blawggers worth keeping an eye on in 2011

by Iain Nisbet


Jonathan Mitchell QC

There’s no better place to start. If you’re looking for serious commentary on Scots law issues, this site has it in abundance. Jonathan’s blog posts often read more like academic papers or written submissions than the inconsequential linking or cutting and pasting that often passes for legal blogging. The subject matter is wide-ranging, recent posts including comments on defamation, legal aid, public law, human rights, the Upper Tribunal and judicial review. Posts are not frequent – only 10 in 2010 (to mid-December), but are always worth waiting for. Added extras: Court of Session term dates; Murray Stable events; some other legal events; and links to Jonathan’s old site, still very much worth a look.

Professor Hector MacQueen

Aided ably by Scott Wortley, Professor MacQueen was blawgging before blawgs were a twinkle in a web developer’s eye. This review has previously given high praise to Scots Law News, but let me reiterate that it is a very useful source. Short reports on noteworthy events related to Scots law appear relatively frequently, accompanied by some brief analysis. Added extras: A twitter feed (@ScotsLawNews)

Andres Guadamuz

Another blog written from Edinburgh University law school (though Andres asserts that the online persona Techno Llama is “semi-detached” from his professional identity). A technology law blog, it focuses on “open licensing, digital rights, software protection, virtual worlds, and llamas”. It’s a compelling mix and although the tone is lighthearted, the site is very well respected, with some real rigour in its treatment of the many complex legal issues arising in cyberspace. Posts are frequent, engaging and informative. Added extras: A link to the llama song ( flash/llama)!

Professor Lilian Edwards

Another “cyberlaw” blog from another academic, this time from the University of Strathclyde. I am a newcomer to the panGloss blog, but very much liked what I found. Quite a mixed bag, with recent posts including serious commentary on the Wikileaks saga and some fascinating thoughts on robot ethics. Posts averaged a little more than one per week in 2010.


Jennie is a law librarian (or “library monkey” as she describes herself) in an Edinburgh law firm and blogs periodically on germane issues. The content is a mix of personal reflection, anecdotes, insights and complaints – in fact, it is perhaps the most “bloggy” of all the blawgs featured this month and it’s this quality that makes it so engaging.


Divorce and family law in Scotland is the topic of this blog, written by a non-lawyer who is not really called Fiona. She does meet her stated aim of demystifying the law in this area, but has not posted since 1 October 2009. Come back, Fiona!

Alistair Sloan

Now it’s the turn of the law students. Alistair Sloan’s “Ramblings of a Scottish Student” has been going for a while and contains interesting observations on various legal topics. He has spent some time considering the Cadder case and even contacted various MSPs – the responses are all posted on the site. Added extras: which chronicles more of the day-to-day experiences of student life (lately, getting to exams in the snow).

Michelle McIlroy

The Eagle has landed, and Michelle’s diary of a Diploma student is a marvellously enthusiastic account of what she and her fellow students are undertaking. Weekly updates on the course content and experiences will be of most interest to other students or prospective students, but also potential employers who want to know how things have changed since their day. Michelle is evangelical about the use of technology in legal practice and this blog is a very good example of that. Added extras: A year in pictures contains some excellent photographs.

The Scots Law Student

An anonymous Scots law student, whose blog is subtitled “life and trials of learning law in Scotland” – with a nice line in righteous indignation.

Gavin Ward

Gavin’s eponymous site has gone from a standing start to a “big presence” in a short period of time. Perhaps this is no surprise as his student dissertation is republished under the heading “How to dominate the Internet”. He has also published a guide on how to write a first class dissertation. Beyond this, the posts are not very frequent and you do sometimes have to plough through a lot of adverts to find what you want. Added extras: YouBlawG; MusicBlawG; EuroBlawG etc etc.


As for number 11 on your list of blawgs to bookmark, don’t forget that is also a blawg, although without the insight, analysis, charm or novelty of those listed above.

Who writes this column?

The website review column is written by Iain A Nisbet of Govan Law Centre


All of these links and hundreds more can be found Absolvitor is also now on Facebook: and twitter:



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