Foreword: Looking Forward and Back in Time of Transitions

AuthorJacob Eisler
PositionAssociate Professor of Public Law, University of Southampton
[2019] Vol.9
Looking Forward and Back in Time of Transitions
All times are exciting, but some times are more exciting than others. This edition of the Southampton
Student Law Review, comprised of pieces from former and current students at Southampton Law
School, reveals just how exciting our times are. From the political tumult of Brexit and the continual
developments in a post-colonial global order to technical advances in medicine and transportation, this
issue of the SSLR explores the full breadth of pressing contemporary legal developments.
This issue illustrates how law sits on the temporal boundary of these dramatic social transitions. Even
as many of the topics look to the future – the status of law in international and transnational contexts,
and how law must address shifting practices due to changing norms and technologies – the issue
remains thoroughly grounded in the history-minded method of common law. Thus we have articles
that look to the impact of a former Supreme Court justice’s attitude on the development of
contemporary law and how new struggles in areas of law mirror struggles of the past. Moreover, many
of the articles themselves are thoroughly grounded in the tensions that emerge from applying
established law to new developments. Statutes and case law do not evolve of their own accord to keep
pace with new social and technical developments. It is the role of lawyers to interpret law so that it
can face new challenges even as it maintains coherence and continuity with its past. This project is
perpetual, but it happens to be a time in human history when the depth and scale of this interpretive
challenge is especially great.
The students who write these pieces are not merely commentators of the moment. They are the future
solicitors, barristers, and academics who will guide this continued development of law to face new
challenges in a variety of contexts. The diversity and depth of this issue reveals that we should feel
ourselves to be in good hands.
Jacob Eisler
Associate Professor of Public Law
University of Southampton
August 2019

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