From the Editor’s Chair

November 1, 1998

This issue is the first to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Society forComputers and Law. For me, a feature of the Anniversary has been the respectshown to the Society, based on the achievements of many prominent members over along period of time. SCL was honoured by the presence of the Lord Chancellor atits Anniversary Dinner at the House of Commons and I have been personallycheered by the many positive reactions to approaches to prominent figures andrequests for articles. It may be that the positive reactions to my approaches isthe product of my charm and reputation, but it seems much more likely to be aproduct of the esteem in which the Society is held. Honour, respect and esteemare the products of past work and certainly the Society has earned the key ofthe door to influence and has attained full age and standing. But all theprominent figures in SCL who I approached to write something in recognition ofthe Anniversary were unanimous in acknowledging the responsibility which comeswith such respect and that a job still remains to be done and that there are newchallenges which must be met by the Society.

This bumper issue celebrates the Anniversary in three ways. First we havecontributions from the Lord Chancellor, Sir Brian Neill, Richard Susskind,Charles Christian and a number of other prominent figures – reflecting on whatlies ahead rather than simply on the past. I doubt that any magazine publishedby a society could hope for a starrier list of contributors. Secondly we includea major excerpt from the SCL response to civil.justice, which is anexample of the continuing solid work of SCL in helping to shape the legal systemof the future. Thirdly, since I am very much aware that members have pressingconcerns which will not wait for an issue of pure celebration, we celebrate ourusefulness with material on practical IT applications and, for the IT lawyers,on domain names and Y2K – the countdown for the latter now starts in evengreater earnest.

May I take this opportunity to welcome John Sibbald to the Editorial Team. Hewill ensure improved and balanced coverage of Scottish issues.

I wish members and the Society a successful 1999. May you meet onlystimulating challenges, and overcome them all.