Maggie Scott QC, well known as a criminal defence specialist and for her role in the appeal of the late Abdelbasset al Megrahi, the man who most agree was unjustly convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988, has been appointed as a judge to Scotland’s Court of Session. She is expected to take up the post later in the year.
An announcement of Ms Scott’s appointment to the Court of Session, reported as far back as April of this year by the Herald’s Lucy Adams, HERE was expected to have been made in early June, at the same time as the announcement of Scotland’s new Lord President, Lord Gill and the appointments of Lord Colin Boyd QC, Michael Jones QC, and David Burns QC as Senators of the College of Justice, reported by Scottish Law Reporter HERE.
There is no ‘official’ explanation for the delay in announcing Ms Scott’s elevation to the bench, however the delay did enable the famous QC to give a robust defence for the retention of corroboration in Scots Law in the printed media and on television.
Her Majesty the Queen, on the recommendation of the First Minister, has appointed Margaret Elizabeth Scott QC as a Senator to the College of Justice. First Minister Alex Salmond nominated Ms Scott for appointment on the basis of a report by the independent Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland. Ms Scott, who was appointed on 12 July, will take up her appointment later in 2012.
Ms Scott was admitted as a solicitor in 1989 and to the Faculty of Advocates in 1991. She became a QC in 2002. Since 1991 she has been involved mainly in criminal defence work, specialising in appeals. From 1995 she regularly acted as senior counsel and from 1996 for a period as an ad hoc Advocate Depute. Since 2002 she has been lead counsel in some of the most difficult and serious cases including numerous full bench cases and cases before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and United Kingdom Supreme Court. She was lead counsel on the Lockerbie appeal from 2007-2009. She was appointed as a part-time sheriff in 2002.
The salary of a Senator is £172,753 per annum.
The Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland was established by Ministers in 2002 and it became an independent advisory non-departmental public body on June 1, 2009. The Board has statutory responsibilities under the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008. The Board's role is to recommend for appointment to the office of judge, sheriff principal, sheriff and part-time sheriff. The First Minister retains the statutory responsibility for making nominations to Her Majesty the Queen. The First Minister is required by statute to consult the Lord President of the Court of Session before making his nomination to Her Majesty.