Hunt is on to find replacement for Lord Hamilton who retires in June 2012. AS reflected in the current Lord President’s previous explanation of recruitment of members of the judiciary, where a friendly tap on the shoulder appeared to suffice, the Scottish justice system is again to tap someone else on the shoulder to fill the Lord President’s post upon the retirement of Lord Hamilton, the current Lord President in June 2012. An announcement from the Scottish Government reflects the position that bit-part-justice-player, “The First Minister”, has convened a selection panel, to choose the new Lord President, but only after the members of the selection panel were
ordered to fill recommended for the post by the legal establishment.
Choosing a new Lord President (and 49 other ways to make potato waffles – Ed)
Following notification of the current Lord President, Lord Hamilton's, intention to retire in June 2012, the First Minister has established a selection panel to make recommendations for a new Lord President. That appointment process has begun today, 4 January 2012, with the office being advertised and applications being invited by 31 January 2012. The selection panel will interview shortlisted candidates and make a report to the First Minister with their recommendations shortly after that.
The selection panel consists of:
Sir Muir Russell (Chair), Chair of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland;
Professor Andrew Coyle, Lay member of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland;
Rt. Hon Lord Hardie, Senator (Inner House), and
Hon Lady Dorrian, Senator (Outer House)
The office of Lord President is the most senior judicial office in Scotland and the office holder is responsible for leadership of the entire Scottish judiciary, in addition to chairing the Board of the Scottish Court Service. The salary is £214,165.
The procedure for appointing the Lord President is governed by sections 19 and 20 and Schedule 2 of the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008 and section 95 of the Scotland Act 1998. The 2008 Act requires the First Minister to establish a panel to recommend individuals who are suitable for appointment. The First Minister must have regard to the panel's recommendation but is not bound by it. Once the panel makes its recommendation, it is for the First Minister to make his nomination to the Prime Minister, after consultation with both the Lord President and the Lord Justice Clerk. The Prime Minister has responsibility for recommending to Her Majesty the appointment of a person as Lord President, but may not recommend any person who has not been nominated by the First Minister.
Sir Muir Russell was appointed as lay Chairing Member of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland in October 2008 for a period of three years and re-appointed in October 2011 for a further three years. He was educated at the High School of Glasgow and Glasgow University, where he took a first class honours degree in Natural Philosophy. He was Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Office and then the Scottish Executive from 1998 to 2003 and Principal of the University of Glasgow from 2003 to 2009.
Professor Andrew Coyle was appointed as a lay Member of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland in November 2008 for a period of three years and re-appointed in 2011 for a further three years. He is Emeritus Professor of Prison Studies in the University of London and Visiting Professor in the University of Essex. He was the founding Director of the International Centre for Prison Studies (1997-2005) and a former prison governor. Professor Coyle has a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and is a Fellow of King's College London. He is a member of the Foreign Secretary's Advisory Group on Torture Prevention.
The Rt Hon Lord Hardie was appointed as a Senator of the College of Justice in March 2000 and was promoted to the Inner House of the Court of Session in December 2009. Lord Hardie is a graduate of Edinburgh University (MA, LLB Hons) and qualified as a solicitor in 1971. In 1973 he was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates and he served as an Advocate Depute from 1979 to 1983 and Dean of Faculty from 1994 to 1997. He served as Lord Advocate from 1997-2000.
Hon Lady Dorrian was appointed as a Senator of the College of Justice in 2005, having served as a Temporary Judge since 2002. Lady Dorrian is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen (LLB). She was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1981 and was Standing Junior Counsel to the Health and Safety Executive and Commission between 1987 and 1994. She served as Advocate Depute between 1988 and 1991, and as Standing Junior to the Department of Energy between 1991 and 1994. Lady Dorrian was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1994 and between 1997 and 2001 she was a member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
Eligibility for appointment as Lord President is open to:
Serving Court of Session Judges
Sheriffs principal and sheriffs who have held continuous office for at least five years
Solicitors who have had rights of audience in both the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary for a continuous period for at least five years
Advocates of at least five years standing
Writers of the Signet of 10 years standing who have passed an examination in civil law set by the Faculty of Advocates two years before appointment
Lord Hamilton was first appointed as a Senator of the College of Justice in 1995 and was promoted to the Inner House of the Court of Session in 2002. He was appointed to the offices of Lord President and Lord Justice General in 2005. Lord Hamilton is a graduate of the universities of Oxford (BA, Worcester College) and Edinburgh (LLB). He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1968 and was Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Development Department (1975-78) and the Inland Revenue (1978-82) He served as an Advocate Depute from 1982 to 1985.