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Appointment of Queen's Counsel

16/06/2005

Her Majesty The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of 14 new Queen's Counsel, on the recommendation of First Minister Jack McConnell.

The new appointees are:

  • Donald Roderick Macleod
  • Peter William Ferguson
  • Alastair James Kinroy
  • Mark Lumsden Stewart
  • Lesley Munro Shand
  • Robert Douglas Armstrong
  • David Eric Lothian Johnston
  • Morag Barbara Wise
  • John William Probert Beckett
  • Brian McConnachie
  • Sheriff Paul Andrew Arthurson
  • Sheriff Ian Christopher Simpson

(all of whom are members of the Faculty of Advocates)

  • Patrick Wheatley
  • Francis Mulholland

(who are Solicitor Advocates)

There are now 158 QCs including the latest addition of 14. The previous round of appointments was in 2003.

Those appointed were nominated by the Rt Hon Lord Cullen of Whitekirk, the Lord Justice General. With the agreement of Lord Cullen, Sir Roy Cameron QPM was appointed by the First Minister to act as an observer of the process and to provide the First Minister with a separate report on his findings.

Ministers are committed to greater openness in the process of appointment of Queen's Counsel. Before any future round of appointments, there will be further discussions with the Lord Justice General about the means of achieving this.

The rank of Queen's Counsel is generally reserved for those who have distinguished themselves in practice in the Supreme Courts. Advocates and Solicitors with Rights of Audience in the Supreme Courts are eligible to apply to the Lord Justice General, Scotland's senior judge. Before making recommendations, the Lord Justice General consults other judges, the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, the Lord Advocate and the President of the Law Society of Scotland.

Scottish Ministers are committed to making the process of appointment of Queen's Counsel more open and introducing an independent element into selection. For this year only, the Lord President agreed to the appointment of an independent observer, Sir Roy Cameron, to overlook the process and provide the First Minister with a separate report on his findings.