Events, famously, kept Harold Macmillan awake at night. If only he could have seen them coming.
Fast forward to the present, and Obiter is delighted to learn that the Ministry of Justice is part of a little-known government project to see things coming. We refer to the MoJ’s ‘Horizon Scanning desk’, which, for non-clairvoyant members of the press, even has its own press officer.
Up and running since March 2014, the Horizon Scanning Programme Team (HSPT) was formed to find out ‘what the future might look like’. HSPT’s blog set out the scale of the challenge, using a graphic with questions such as: ‘What’s the point?’; ‘Will it actually work?’; and ‘Are you being predictable?’.
‘Someone’s on all this – we’re saved!’ you might think. Except… well, it is to be hoped there’s some really good justice horizon scanning in the pipeline, as Obiter noticed that the published research output of HSPT has been four items released on 18 December 2014 – and nothing since.
But perhaps this is good news? If the MoJ’s Horizon Scanning desk can see no imminent trouble for law, Obiter supposes there is, perhaps, nothing to worry about. Full steam ahead.