Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Look who’s going to Oxford : Former Lord Advocate now Dame Elish Angiolini takes up post of Principal at St Hugh’s College, Oxford

Dame-Elish-AngioliniFormer Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini has been made Principal at St Hugh’s College, Oxford.  Dame Elish Angiolini DBE QC, (born McPhilomy) who during her term as Lord Advocate presided over criminal trial disasters such as the World's End murder trial collapse, fought against a case (Cadder v HMA) which finally brought into law the right of persons held in Police custody in Scotland to consult with a solicitor during Police interrogation and more recently is known to have used a private law firm whose partners are involved in work in the notorious offshore tax dodging haven of the Cayman Islands and who also represented notorious Glasgow City Council cocaine addict Steven Purcell in a battle to silence media reporting of the cocaine-politics-corruption scandal, has been welcomed by St Hugh's College, Oxford as its new principal, taking up the post later this year in September 2012.

While the college today issued a statement saying they were delighted to welcome the former Lord Advocate as their new Principal, Elish Angiolini, (born McPhilomy) has recently hit the headlines of her initiation of Scotland’s most expensive ever Breach of the Peace trial, where anti-abuse campaigner Robert Green was jailed for ONE YEAR for handing out leaflets asking for an inquiry into allegations of abuse made by downs syndrome victim Hollie Greig, who was paid a large sum of money from the Criminal Injuries Compensation board after officials decided abuse had taken place.

Robert Green, who made certain allegations against Mrs Angiolini which cannot be reported for legal reasons, ended up being jailed last week by Sheriff Principal Edward Bowen, a Judge acquaintance of the former Lord Advocate who it has since been revealed, failed to declare a relationship with Dame Angiolini after serving on a highly paid quango position with the ex law officer on the Northern Lighthouse Board together with a large, if curious gathering of senior members of the legal profession, the judiciary & prosecutors which includes the current boss of the Crown Office, Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland, and his deputy, the Solicitor General, Lesley Thomson.

While a final total nearing ONE MILLION POUNDS of taxpayers money appears to have been spent on what has been described as a VENDETTA pursuing Green through the justice system in Scotland, on a case which saw FIFTEEN PRE TRIAL HEARINGS at Stonehaven Sheriff Court, 18,000 travel miles for the accused, trips by Grampian Police Officers to England to search & raid homes & seize property including computers & documents, Crown Office staff being flown into Aberdeen especially for the case, and a witness list which at one point totalled SIXTY ONE persons, oddly there has been no prosecution of anyone for the alleged abuse of Hollie Greig, despite a series of allegations made by the victim & campaigners including Mr Green, who campaigned on her behalf.

Speaking in a Press Release issued by St Hugh’s College, Andrew Dilnot, the current Principal who has been in the position since 2002, commented: “I am delighted that the College has elected such an outstanding figure as Dame Elish as its next Principal. Her pioneering achievements will be an inspiration to people both within and outside the College, and I very much look forward to welcoming her to Oxford.”

Dr John Iles, the College’s Senior Fellow who chaired the election process, said: “Amongst a very strong field of candidates, Elish Angiolini stood out for her combination of leadership qualities and passion for the academic vision of the College. We believe that she is just the person further to develop St Hugh’s as Principal after the exceptionally successful tenure of Andrew Dilnot.”

The Press Release also publishes a statement from Dame Elish Angiolini, who spoke shortly after the announcement about her enthusiasm for the role : “Founded to give an excellent education to women who were otherwise excluded from Oxford, and now providing a focus for learning and scholarship for women and men from all backgrounds, St Hugh’s College has an inspiring history and an exciting future. I am eagerly anticipating joining the College and aim both to support and celebrate its important work.”

St Hugh’s College listed the former Lord Advocate’s profile as follows : “Dame Elish is the former Lord Advocate of Scotland – the highest law officer in the Scottish legal system. Prior to this she was Solicitor General for Scotland. She was the first woman, and the first solicitor in the modern era, to hold either position. Born in Govan, Glasgow, she attended Notre Dame High School for Girls and studied Law at Strathclyde University. She is now a visiting professor at Strathclyde, an honorary professor at Aberdeen University and holds honorary degrees from the universities of Glasgow Caledonian, Strathclyde and Aberdeen. She is also a QC and Privy Counsellor.”

However, the Press Release issued by St Hugh’s College omits any mention of a string of serious high profile case failures during Ms Angiolini’s term as Lord Advocate along with massive ramifications of the Cadder ruling and doubts over the prosecution of hundreds of criminal cases where it is alleged evidence has either not been provided to courts or has simply been “made up” by prosecutors. No criticism of Dame Angiolini’s term as Scotland’s senior law officer is mentioned, a term which was branded “A disastrous experiment” by the well respected Professor Robert Black QC, emeritus Professor of Law at Edinburgh University.

Professor Black, writing on his Lockerbie Case blog, said of Dame Angiolini’s term as Lord Advocate  “In the past, the law officers have traditionally come from the ranks of the practising Bar and were supporters of the governing party,”. He went onto say : “Elish Angiolini, as well as being the first woman, was the first solicitor and the first legal civil servant. It is to be hoped that it will be recognised that the appointment of a Crown Office staffer as Lord Advocate was a disastrous experiment which should never be repeated.”

Serving as Lord Advocate at the time of Robert Green’s arrest, Dame Angiolini issued legal threats to media outlets including Scots law publication “The Firm” who were forced to censor their reporting of events concerning the Hollie Greig allegations. Private law firm LEVY MCRAE, who also represented shamed Glasgow City Council Boss & self confessed cocaine addict Steven Purcell were used in the operation to silence reporting of the abuse allegations, with senior partner Peter Watson dispatching a series of letters to online media outlets and even the Press Complaints Commission over the affair, which is reported HERE. The conduct of Levy McRae & Watson was challenged by the Herald newspaper in a remarkably frank editorial comment, published HERE

The Press Release issued by St Hugh’s College gives their own view of the last decade of events in the Scottish justice system : “As Solicitor General for Scotland (2001–6) and then as Lord Advocate (2006–11), Dame Elish was instrumental in reforming the operation of the justice system in Scotland, in particular making it more responsive to the victims of crime. In addition, she supervised some of the most significant prosecutions in Scotland in the last decade, and acted as the Scottish Government’s legal advisor during a period of major change. Unusually, she held the post without political affiliation and was reappointed as Lord Advocate by the incoming SNP government in 2007. She is renowned for her championing of equality and dignity in the justice system. She stepped down from her post as Lord Advocate in May 2011, and is currently chairing a Commission of Inquiry on Women Offenders in Scotland, as well as practising as an advocate at the Scottish Bar. She was awarded the DBE for services to the administration of justice in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2011. In the same year, she was granted a Special Achievement Award by the International Association of Prosecutors.”

A reminder of previous events in the trial of anti abuse campaigner Robert Green can be viewed in earlier coverage by Scottish Law Reporter HERE and further coverage of the Hollie Greig case along with a recent investigation into the knighthood of Angiolini, apparently recommended by the Scottish Government.

NMG0505123Former Lord Advocate now Dame Elish Angiolini employed Cayman Islands hopping lawyers from Glasgow. Reporting on the background of the case, Robert Green was arrested by Police on 12th February 2010 in relation to a breach of the peace alleged to have been committed in Aberdeen when Mr Green attempted to hand out leaflets regarding the anti-abuse campaign. It was also revealed the then Lord Advocate, now Dame Elish Angiolini had employed private law firm Levy McRae to serve interdicts on Mr Green in connection with his campaign to ‘out’ alleged abusers of downs syndrome victim Hollie Greig. Glasgow law firm Levy McRae who later represented shamed former Glasgow City Council Boss & Cocaine addict Steven Purcell, proceeded to threaten several media outlets & journalists over their reporting of the case, covered by Scottish Law Reporter HERE & HERE. The Purcell scandal caused some newspapers to ‘evaluate’ their relationship with Levy McRae, details of which were featured in a report here : HERE

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskillJustice Secretary Kenny MacAskill worked at, has ties to same law firm used by then Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini in interdict case. As details of the case began to be reported in the wider press, it emerged the Scottish Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill had links to LEVY MCRAE, the law firm employed by the then Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini in legal action against Mr Green. Mr MacAskill has made no comment on the fact he served his apprenticeship at Levy McRae and also worked at the firm for a considerable time during his years as a solicitor before he entered politics, while he is thought to have backed Dame Angiolini in her actions at the time. The revelations were reported by Scottish Law Reporter at the time, HERE

Dame Elish Angiolini has also been appointed Ministerial complaints adviser to Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond


Anonymous said...

sounds like they got the person for the job they were looking for

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately none of Ms Angiolini's previous at the Crown Office made it to the printed media.

The lazy club (reason why circulations are dropping like a stone) seem to have lifted their material mostly from the St Hugh's Press Release while managing to add references to Aung San Suu Kyi who is now an honorary fellow of the college and Ms Wilding Davison the suffragette who committed suicide by throwing herself under King George V's horse in 1913.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm glad we don't have to rely on the English St Hugh's College analysis of the Scots legal world for the past 10 years because their press release is full of sh*t!

Anonymous said...

What lovely people you have in Scotland.

Would the daft Oxford college have taken her on if she had locked up Aung San Suu Kyi for a year in jail for handing out leaflets?

I think not..

Anonymous said...

Would the daft Oxford college have taken her on if she had locked up Aung San Suu Kyi for a year in jail for handing out leaflets?


Anonymous said...

Made a headmaster after her orders to prosecute threw a man in jail for a year just for handing out leaflets.

She clearly didnt get the job on a justice ticket unless justice means this.