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New Scottish judges appointed

19/01/2006

Her Majesty The Queen, on the recommendation of First Minister Jack McConnell, has approved the appointment of four new Senators of the College of Justice.

The four new Senators are: Mr Alan D Turnbull QC, Baroness Clark of Calton QC, Mr S Neil Brailsford QC and Mr Roderick F Macdonald QC.

Mr Turnbull will fill the vacancy arising as a consequence of the retiral of The Rt Hon Lord Marnoch in 2004; Baroness Clark fills the vacancy arising from the retiral of The Rt Hon Lord Penrose; and Mr Brailsford fills the vacancy consequent on the appointment of The Rt Hon Lord Hamilton as Lord President.

All three new appointees to the Outer House will take up appointment shortly on dates to be arranged. Mr Macdonald's appointment will take effect from the beginning of April 2006 when another Senator is due to retire.

These appointments will restore the complement of judges to 34, which was the highest-ever level.

First Minister Jack McConnell said:

"Scottish Ministers believe in a strong and independent judiciary and the vital role they play in the delivery of efficient, effective and above all fair justice in this country. Once these new judges are in place, Scotland's complement of judges will be restored, after recent retirements, to the number achieved in recent years.

"This is a time of great reform and modernisation in our Superior Courts - and the judiciary have played an important part in making those reforms a success. The individuals appointed today are all well-placed to make a significant contribution to this important and ongoing programme."

The Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland was asked to consider applications and make recommendations to the First Minister to fill vacancies in the Court of Session. The First Minister accepted the Board's recommendations and as provided for in statute, consulted the Lord President, Scotland's most senior judge, before making his nominations to Her Majesty.

The appointment of Baroness Clark of Calton takes the number of female judges to five. The other female judges are The Rt Hon Lady Cosgrove, The Hon Lady Paton, The Hon Lady Smith and The Hon Lady Dorrian.

Alan Turnbull QC (47) was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1982 and took silk in 1996. Initially he was in general practice at the Bar instructed in a range of civil matters and employment cases before the Industrial Tribunals. By 1988 he had come to be instructed as defence counsel in criminal cases and from then he has been mainly involved in criminal work and for some time specialised in fraud trials.

From 1995 to 1997 he served as an Advocate Depute appearing in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. In 1998 he was in private practice as senior counsel and in September that year was engaged as one of the two senior counsel leading the Crown team in the preparation for, and conduct of, the Lockerbie bombing trial, as well as appearing in the subsequent appeal proceedings. In February 2001 he was appointed as Principal Advocate Depute, a position he held until his return to private practice in January 2006.

Baroness Clark of Carlton QC (56) was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1977, and took Silk in 1989. As junior counsel she appeared in a number of courts throughout Scotland as well as the Inner House of the Court of Session, the Appeal Court and the House of Lords. This included work as a prosecutor in the sheriff courts and assisting the Crown in the High Court.

By 1985 she had built up a practice specialising in medical law, planning, reparation, building contracts and employment law. She appeared in major cases including the Piper Alpha and Orkney Inquiries. As a QC her practice was exclusively civil. In 1999 she was appointed Advocate General for Scotland.

Neil Brailsford QC (51) was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1981 and took Silk in 1994. His early practice at the junior Bar was almost entirely in the civil courts with a mixed practice for the first three to four years before working mainly in insurance based practice with some general commercial work.

From 1994 he practised at the senior Bar, again mainly in civil but was appointed Advocate Depute from 1999 - 2000. Again he worked in commercial/insurance law but after 2001 the emphasis was on administrative/constitutional law with some commercial work and a small amount of crime. Since 2003 he has been a part-time Chairman of the Discipline Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

Roderick Macdonald QC (53) was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1975 and took silk in 1988. His practice at the Bar included both civil and criminal work and he has served as a member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, a legal member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel and legal chairman of the Pensions Appeal Tribunal for Scotland.

From 1987 to 1993 he was an Advocate Depute and was appointed Home Advocate Depute from 1990 to 1993. Since 2001 he has been a Deputy Chairman of the Information Tribunal and a temporary judge.

The salary for a High Court Judge is £155,404.