Lord Justice Clerk

The Lord Justice Clerk is the second most senior judge in Scotland, after the Lord President of the Court of Session.

Originally clericus justiciarie or Clerk to the Court of Justiciary, the counterpart in the criminal courts of the Lord Clerk Register, the status of the office increased over time and the Justice-Clerk came to claim a seat on the Bench by practice and custom. This was recognised by the Privy Council of Scotland in 1663 and the Lord Justice Clerk became the effective head of the reformed High Court of Justiciary in 1672 when the court was reconstituted. The Lord Justice Clerk now rarely presides at criminal trials in the High Court, with most of his or her time being spent dealing with civil and criminal appeals.

The Lord Justice Clerk has the title in both the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary and, as President of the Second Division of the Inner House, is in charge of the Second Division of Judges of the Inner House of the Court of Session. The office is one of the Great Officers of State of Scotland.

The current Lord Justice Clerk is Leeona Dorrian, Lady Dorrian, who was appointed to the position on 13 April 2016.[1]

Lord Justice Clerk
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (Government in Scotland)
Incumbent
Lady Dorrian

since 13 April 2016
StyleThe Right Honourable
AppointerMonarch on the advice of the First Minister
Term lengthLife tenure with compulsory retirement at 75
Salary£215,256 (Salary Group 2)
WebsiteRoles and Jurisdiction | Judicial Office for Scotland

Officeholders

partial list

References

  1. ^ McArdle, Helen (13 April 2016). "Scotland appoints first female Lord Justice Clerk". The Herald. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  2. ^ Alan de Lawedre was Justiciary Clerk "upon the south side of the Water of Forth" and received, in 1374, a pension for same of £10 per annum. Refer: "Early Notices of the Bass Rock and its Owners" by John J. Reid, BA., FSA Scot., in "Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland", 14 December 1885, p.56.
  3. ^ Brown, KM. "Act rescinding the forfeiture of Sir George Campbell of Cessnock". The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  4. ^ "No. 15820". The Edinburgh Gazette. 13 June 1941. p. 305.
  5. ^ "No. 16416". The Edinburgh Gazette. 28 February 1947. p. 79.
  6. ^ "No. 16481". The Edinburgh Gazette. 14 October 1947. p. 427.
  7. ^ "No. 18072". The Edinburgh Gazette. 25 September 1962. p. 583.
  8. ^ "No. 19165". The Edinburgh Gazette. 22 December 1972. p. 1157.
  9. ^ a b "Scottish Judicial Appointments" (Press release). Number10.gov.uk. 13 November 2001. Archived from the original on 17 January 2004. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  10. ^ "Appointment of Lord Justice Clerk" (Press release). The Scottish Government. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  11. ^ "Appointment of Lord Justice Clerk". Scottish Courts and Tribunals (Press release). 13 April 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  • For listings to 1637 (may be wanting) refer to The Staggering State of the Scots' Statesmen, by Sir John Scot of Scotstarvet, Director of Chancery, Edinburgh, 1754, p. 183.
1915 Glasgow Central by-election

The Glasgow Central by-election of 1915 was held on 16 July 1915. The by-election was held due to the incumbent Conservative MP, Charles Dickson, becoming the Lord Justice Clerk. It was won by the Unionist candidate John MacLeod.

1947 Edinburgh East by-election

A by-election for the constituency of Edinburgh East in the United Kingdom House of Commons was held on 27 November 1947, caused by the appointment of the sitting Labour MP George Thomson as Lord Justice Clerk. The seat was retained by the Labour Party, with their candidate John Wheatley winning the seat.

1962 Glasgow Woodside by-election

The 1962 Glasgow Woodside by-election was held on 22 November 1962 when the incumbent Unionist MP, William Grant was appointed as Lord Justice Clerk. It was won by the Labour candidate Neil Carmichael, who retained the gain in the subsequent General Election.

Act of Adjournal

An Act of Adjournal is secondary legislation made by the High Court of Justiciary, the supreme criminal court of Scotland, to regulate the proceedings of Scottish courts hearing criminal matters. Now primarily derived from the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, the original power to create Acts of Adjournal is derived from an Act of the Parliament of Scotland of 1672. Before promulgation, Acts of Adjournal are reviewed and may be commented upon by the Criminal Courts Rules Council.Following Scottish devolution and the establishment of the Scottish Parliament, Acts of Adjournal are made as Scottish Statutory Instruments. Before devolution, Acts were made as United Kingdom Statutory Instruments.

Adam Cockburn, Lord Ormiston

Adam Cockburn, Laird of Ormiston, Lord Ormiston (1656 – 16 April 1735), was a Scottish administrator, politician and judge. He served as Commissioner for Haddington Constabulary in the parliaments of 1681-2 and 1689, and in the conventions of 1678 and 1689. He was appointed Lord Justice Clerk on 28 November 1692.

Cockburn served as a member of the Privy Council, Treasurer Depute from 1699 until the accession of Anne, Lord Justice Clerk for a second term (1705–10), and a Lord of Session from 1705.

Andrew Fletcher, Lord Milton

Andrew Fletcher, Lord Milton (1692 – 13 December 1766) was a notable Scottish judge and Lord Justice Clerk.

Brian Gill, Lord Gill

Brian Gill, Lord Gill, (born 25 February 1942) is a retired Scottish judge and a legal academic. He served as Lord President and Lord Justice General from June 2012 until May 2015. Gill previously served as Lord Justice Clerk from 2001 to 2012, and as Chairman of the Scottish Law Commission from 1996 to 2001. As an advocate, he practised principally in agricultural law and is the author of The Law of Agricultural Holdings in Scotland. In 2007–2009, Gill undertook a far-reaching review of the civil courts system in Scotland, recommending a shift of much of the workload of the Court of Session to Scotland's local sheriff courts.

Colin Sutherland, Lord Carloway

Colin John MacLean Sutherland, Lord Carloway, (born 20 May 1954), is a Scottish advocate and judge. He is currently Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General, the most senior judge of the Supreme Courts of Scotland and head of the Scottish Judiciary.

Court of Session

The Court of Session (Scottish Gaelic: Cùirt an t-Seisein; Scots: Coort o Session) is the supreme civil court of Scotland and constitutes part of the College of Justice; the supreme criminal court of Scotland is the High Court of Justiciary. The Court of Session sits in Parliament House in Edinburgh and is both a trial court and a court of appeal. Decisions of the Court can be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, with the permission of either the Inner House or the Supreme Court. The Court of Session and the local sheriff courts of Scotland have concurrent jurisdiction for all cases with a monetary value in excess of £100,000; the pursuer is given first choice of court. However, the majority of complex, important, or high value cases are brought in the Court of Session. Cases can be remitted to the Court of Session from the sheriff courts, including the Sheriff Personal Injury Court, at the request of the presiding sheriff. Legal aid, administered by the Scottish Legal Aid Board, is available to persons with little disposable income for cases in the Court of Session.

The court is a unitary collegiate court, with all judges other than the Lord President of the Court of Session and the Lord Justice Clerk holding the same rank and title—Senator of the College of Justice and also Lord or Lady of Council and Session. The Lord Lord President is chief justice of the Court, and also head of the judiciary of Scotland; the Lord Justice Clerk is his deputy. There are 35 Senators, in addition to a number of temporary judges; these temporary judges are typically serving sheriffs and sheriffs principal, or advocates in private practice. The Senators sit also in the High Court of Justiciary, where the Lord President is called the Lord Justice General, and Senators are known as Lords Commissioners of Justiciary.

The Court is divided into the Inner House of 12 Senators, which is primarily an appeal court, and the Outer House, which is primarily a court of first instance. The Inner House is further divided into 2 divisions of 6 Senators: the 1st Division is presided over by the Lord President, and the 2nd Division is presided over by the Lord Justice Clerk. Cases in the Inner House are normally heard before a bench of 3 Senators, through more complex or importance cases are presided over by 5 Senators. On very rare occasions the whole Inner House has presided over a case. Cases in the Outer House are heard by a single Senator sitting as a Lord Ordinary, occasionally with a jury of twelve.

The Court is administered by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, and the most senior clerk of court is the Principal Clerk of Session and Justiciary; the Principal Clerk is responsible for all court staff, and is also responsible for the administration of the High Court of Justiciary.

The Court was established in 1532 by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland, and was initially presided over by the Lord Chancellor of Scotland and had equal numbers of clergy and laity. The judges were all appointed from the King's Council.

As of May 2017, the Lord President was Lord Carloway, who was appointed on 19 December 2015, and the Lord Justice Clerk was Lady Dorrian, who was appointed on 13 April 2016.

Donald Ross, Lord Ross

Donald MacArthur Ross, Lord Ross, PC, FRSE (born 29 March 1927) is a former Lord Justice Clerk - the second most senior judge in Scotland.

High Court of Justiciary

The High Court of Justiciary is the supreme criminal court in Scotland. The High Court is both a trial court and a court of appeal. As a trial court, the High Court sits on circuit at Parliament House or the former Sheriff Court building in Edinburgh, or in dedicated buildings in Glasgow and Aberdeen. The High Court sometimes sits in various smaller towns in Scotland, where it uses the local sheriff court building. As an appeal court the High Court sits only in Edinburgh.

On one occasion the High Court of Justiciary sat outside Scotland, at Zeist in the Netherlands during the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial, as the Scottish Court in the Netherlands. At Zeist the High Court sat both as a trial court, and an appeal court for the initial appeal by Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

The president of the High Court is the Lord Justice General, who holds office ex officio by virtue of being Lord President of the Court of Session, and his depute is the Lord Justice Clerk. The remaining judges are the Lords Commissioners of Jusiticiary, who hold office ex officio by virtue of being appointed as Senators of the College of Justice and judges of the Court of Session. As a court of first instance trials are usually heard with a jury of 15 and a single Lord Commissioner of Justiciary; the jury can convict on a majority verdict. In some cases, such as the trial of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and Lamin Khalifah Fhimah for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, a trial can be heard by a bench of judges alone; sitting without a jury.

As an appeal court the hearings are always without a jury, with two judges sitting to hear an appeal against sentence, and three judges sit to hear an appeal against conviction. The High Court will hear appeals from the sheriff courts of Scotland where the trial was under solemn proceedings; the High Court will also hear referrals on points of law from the Sheriff Appeal Court, and from summary proceedings in the Sheriff courts and justice of the peace courts.

Cases can be remitted to the High Court by the sheriff courts after conviction for sentencing, where a sheriff believes that their sentencing powers are inadequate. The High Court can impose a life sentence but the sheriff has a limit of five years sentencing; both can issue an unlimited fine.

As of May 2017, the Lord Justice General was Lord Carloway, and the Lord Justice Clerk was Lady Dorrian, and there were a total of 35 Lords Commissioners of Justiciary.

Inner House

The Inner House is the senior part of the Court of Session, the supreme civil court in Scotland; the Outer House forms the junior part of the Court of Session. It is a court of appeal and a court of first instance. The chief justice is the Lord President, with their deputy being the Lord Justice Clerk, and judges of the Inner House are styled Senators of the College of Justice or Lords of Council and Session. Criminal appeals in Scotland are handled by the High Court of Justiciary sitting as the Court of Appeal.

The Inner House is the part of the Court of Session which acts as a court of appeal for cases from the Outer House and from appeals in civil cases from the Court of the Lord Lyon, Scottish Land Court, and the Lands Tribunal for Scotland. It will hear appeals on questions of law from the Sheriff Appeal Court. It will also sit as a court of first instance in rare instances. The Inner House is always a panel of at least three Senators and does not sit with a jury.

The division of the Court into two houses was first enacted by the Court of Session Act 1810 and most recently confirmed by the Court of Session Act 1988

John Bellenden (Lord Justice Clerk)

Sir John Bellenden of Auchnole and Broughton (died 1 October 1576) was, before 1544, Director of Chancery, and was appointed Lord Justice Clerk on 25 June 1547, succeeding his father Thomas Bellenden of Auchnoule. John was knighted before April 1544.

John Hope, Lord Hope

John Hope PC FRSE (1794–1858) was a Scottish judge and landowner.

Judiciary of Scotland

The judiciary of Scotland are the judicial office holders who sit in the courts of Scotland and make decisions in both civil and criminal cases. Judges make sure that cases and verdicts are within the parameters set by Scots law, and they must hand down appropriate judgments and sentences. Judicial independence is guaranteed in law, with a legal duty on Scottish Ministers, the Lord Advocate and the Members of the Scottish Parliament to uphold judicial independence, and barring them from influencing the judges through any form of special access.

The Lord President of the Court of Session is the head of Scotland's judiciary and the presiding judge of the College of Justice (which consists of the Court of Session and High Court of Justiciary.) As of May 2016, the Lord President was Lord Carloway, who was appointed in December 2015 having previously served as Lord Justice Clerk. The Lord President is supported by the Judicial Office for Scotland which was established on 1 April 2010 as a result of the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008, and the Lord President chairs the corporate board of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service.

The second most senior judge is the Lord Justice Clerk, and the other judges are called of the College of Justice are called Senators. When sitting in the Court of Session Senators are known as Lords of Council and Session and when sitting in the High Court of Justiciary they are known as Lords Commissioners of Justiciary. There are also some temporary judges who carry out the same work on a part-time basis.

Scotland’s sheriffs deal with most civil and criminal cases. There are 6 sheriffdoms, each administered by a sheriff principal. Sheriffs principal and sheriffs are legally qualified, and previously serve as either advocates or solicitors, though many are also Queen's Counsel. Summary sheriffs deal exclusively with cases under summary procedure, and some advocates and solicitors serve as part-time sheriffs.

In 2014, Justice of the Peace courts replaced the previous district courts. In Justice of the Peace courts, lay justices of the peace work with a legally qualified clerk of court who gives advice on law and procedure. Justices of the peace handle minor criminal matters.

Leeona Dorrian, Lady Dorrian

Leeona June Dorrian, Lady Dorrian (born 16 June 1957) is the Lord Justice Clerk, the second most senior judicial post in Scotland. An advocate since 1981, she has been a judge since 2002. After three years as a temporary judge, she became a Judge of the Supreme Courts of Scotland in 2005.

Lord President of the Court of Session

The Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General is the most senior judge in Scotland, the head of the judiciary, and the presiding judge of the College of Justice, the Court of Session, and the High Court of Justiciary. The Lord President holds the title of Lord Justice General of Scotland and the head of the High Court of Justiciary ex officio, as the two offices were combined in 1836. The Lord President has authority over any court established under Scots law, except for the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the Court of the Lord Lyon.

The current Lord President of the Court of Session is Lord Carloway, who was appointed to the position on 18 December 2015. They are paid according to Salary Group 1.1 of the Judicial Salaries Scale, which in 2016 was £222,862.

Robert Munro, 1st Baron Alness

Robert Munro, 1st Baron Alness, (28 May 1868 – 6 October 1955) was a Scottish lawyer, judge and Liberal politician. He served as Secretary for Scotland between 1916 and 1922 in David Lloyd George's coalition government and as Lord Justice Clerk between 1922 and 1933.

William Grant, Lord Grant

William Grant, Lord Grant, (19 June 1909 – 19 November 1972) was a Scottish advocate, a Unionist politician, and a judge. Born to the Grant's distillery family who created Glenfiddich whisky, he was one of Scotland's Great Officers of State for the last twelve years of his life.

A classical scholar and talented orator who nonetheless lost his first two election campaigns, Grant sat in the House of Commons from 1955 to 1962. Throughout that period he was a Law Officer: first Solicitor General for Scotland, then Lord Advocate.

He left Parliament in 1962 to become Lord Justice Clerk, the second most senior judge in Scotland. His work included chairing the eponymous Grant Committee, a major inquiry into the working of Scotland's sheriff courts.

While still in office, Grant died in a traffic collision in the Scottish Highlands, with alcohol in his blood. The crash left two other men dead and a young family seriously injured.

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