The contradictory and self correcting or otherwise role of Attorney General had depended very much upon the convention that s/he should attend Cabinet if and only if there had been legal and/or constitutional issues on its agenda.

Whilst it is far from being for me to lay all the “blame” and point the finger just at Lord (Peter) Goldsmith, that convention decidedly took a nosedive during that particular gentleman’s tenure.

In brief he had been elevated in 1999 on the request of then Prime Minister Tony Blair and been appointed ,also by Blair , as Attorney General in 2001.

Contrary to the convention described above he took it upon himself to attend Cabinet irrespective of any such agenda items.

Then followed the “volte-faces “over prosecutions in the BAE case and of course in the case of the Iraq invasion (as I continue to describe it- no legal justification for it as I maintain).

As to the questions listed in Joshua’s summary:

1. Successful reforms ? The case for careful, measured “reforms “ after wide consultation was clear enough. But anything remotely “seamless” in its introduction would have required Blair’s then Lord Chancellor Derry Irvine to have been consulted rather than its having been sneaked past him, given the serious “sales resistance” to have been expected- rightly or wrongly- from that particular quarter.

Now we are where we are and “back to the drawing board “ should ,rather, be the rallying cry, so that the job might be done- or re-done - fully rather than as before in a half-baked fashion.

2. The Law Officers to continue to be politicians serving in government? A resounding “No” from me, since that , surely, is the nub of the problem.

3. Protecting the rule of law? With the likes of Dominic Raab or Suella Braverman, I find that the question answers itself in the negative. I have said before that I have serious doubts that they can even SPELL that term, let alone understand and act upon its meaning.

Whilst I shall tune into Joshua’s Gazette feature, I very much doubt that I shall be dissuaded from my views as above.

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As the ramifications of the SoS for Scotland’s decision to invoke s35 for the first time are being assessed this piece helps introduce the broader context for the law officers role - nicely done Joshua 👏🙂🙏

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I lost sleep over the government’s announcement of its intention to break the Northern Ireland Protocol. Up to that point I had still held a naive belief that they would respect the law. Now I daily see Dominic Raab in action and I know that this government actually loathes the rule of law.

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