Lord President of the Court of Session

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Lord President of the Court of Session
Lord Justice General
Logo of the lord president.svg
Incumbent
Lord Gill

since 8 June 2012
Style The Right Honourable
Appointer First Minister
Term length Life tenure

The Lord President of the Court of Session is the most senior judge in Scotland, the head of the judiciary, and the presiding judge of the College of Justice and the Court of Session.[1] The Lord President is also the Lord Justice General of Scotland and the head of the High Court of Justiciary, the two offices having been combined in 1836.[2] The Lord President has authority over any court established under Scots law, except for the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.[3]

The office of Lord Justice General is derived from the justiciars who were appointed from at least the twelfth century. From around 1567 onwards it was held heritably by the Earl of Argyll until the heritability was resigned to the Crown in 1607.

The current Lord President is Lord Gill, who was sworn into office on 11 June 2012.

In Scotland the Official Oath is taken before the Lord President of the Court of Session. In England that role is performed by the Clerk of the Privy Council.[4]

Officeholders[edit]

Justiciars[edit]

(called Lord Chief Justices by Scot of Scotstarvet).

Lord Justice-General[edit]

From Until Remarks
William Graham, 7th Earl of Menteith, 1st Earl of Airth 11 July 1628 8 November 1633
Sir William Elphinstone 23 December 1635 13 November 1641
Sir Thomas Hope, younger of Kerse 18 November 1641 23 August 1643
William Cunningham, 8th Earl of Glencairn 13 November 1646 15 February 1649
John Kennedy, 6th Earl of Cassilis 15 March 1649 9 August 1651
John Murray, 2nd Earl of Atholl 16 August 1661 21 May 1675
Alexander Stuart, 5th Earl of Moray 21 May 1675 5 May 1676
Archibald Primrose, Lord Carrington 5 May 1676 30 September 1678
George Mackenzie, Lord Tarbat 30 September 1678 1 June 1680
William Douglas, 3rd Earl of Queensberry 1 June 1680 1 March 1682
James Drummond, 4th Earl of Perth 1 March 1682 13 June 1684
George Livingston, 3rd Earl of Linlithgow 13 June 1684 3 August 1689
Robert Ker, 4th Earl of Lothian 3 August 1689 15 February 1703
George Mackenzie, 1st Earl of Cromartie 17 October 1704 23 October 1710
Archibald Campbell, 1st Earl of Ilay 23 October 1710 15 April 1761
John Hay, 4th Marquess of Tweeddale 27 June 1761 9 December 1762
Charles Douglas, 3rd Duke of Queensberry 15 April 1763 22 October 1778
David Murray, 2nd Earl of Mansfield 23 October 1778 1794
James Graham, 3rd Duke of Montrose 14 January 1795 30 December 1836

Lord President[edit]

From Until Remarks
Alexander Mylne, Abbot of Cambuskenneth 1532 1543 Abbot of Cambuskenneth (1519-1548)
Robert Reid, Bishop of Orkney 1543 1558 Abbot of Kinloss (1528-1553);
Commendator of Beauly (1531-1553);
Bishop of Orkney (1541-1558)
Henry Sinclair, Bishop of Ross 1558 1565 Commendator of Kilwinning (1541-1550);
Dean of Glasgow (1550-1561);
Bishop of Ross (1558-1565)
John Sinclair, Bishop of Brechin 1565 1566 Appointed a Lord of Session, 1540;
Bishop of Brechin (1565-1566)
William Baillie, Lord Provand 1566 1567
James Balfour, Lord Pittendreich 1567 1593 Appointed a Lord of Session, 1561
Alexander Seton, Lord Fyvie 1593 1604 Appointed a Lord of Session, 1586;
Provost of Edinburgh (1598-1608);
Lord Chancellor of Scotland (1604-1622);
Lord High Commissioner to the Parliament of Scotland (1612-1621)
James Elphinstone, 1st Lord Balmerino 1605 1609 Appointed a Lord of Session, 1587;
Secretary of State (1598-1609)
John Preston, Lord Fentonbarns 1609 1616 Appointed a Lord of Session, 1595
Thomas Hamilton, 1st Earl of Melrose 1616 1625 Appointed a Lord of Session, 1592;
Lord Advocate (1595-1596 and 1596-1612);
Lord Clerk Register (1612)
Sir James Skene of Curriehill 1626 1633 Lord Clerk Register (1594-1612);
Appointed a Lord of Session, 1594
Robert Spottiswood, Lord Newabbey 1633 1646 Appointed a Lord of Session, 1622
Sir John Gilmour of Craigmillar 1661 1671 Commissioner for Edinburghshire (1661-1671)
James Dalrymple, 1st Viscount Stair 1671 1681 Appointed a Lord of Session, 1661;
Commissioner for Wigtownshire (1672-1674, 1678 and 1681-1682)
George Gordon, 1st Earl of Aberdeen 1681 1682 Commissioner for Aberdeenshire (1669-1674, 1678 and 1681-1682);
Appointed a Lord of Session, 1680;
Lord Chancellor of Scotland (1682-1684)
Sir David Falconer of Newton 1682 1685 Appointed a Lord of Session, 1676;
Commissioner for Forfarshire (1685)
Sir George Lockhart of Carnwath 1685 31 March 1689 Appointed Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, 1672;
Commissioner for Lanarkshire (1681-1682 and 1685-1686)
James Dalrymple, 1st Viscount Stair 28 October 1689 25 November 1695 Appointed a Lord of Session, 1661;
Commissioner for Wigtownshire (1672-1674, 1678 and 1681-1682)
Hew Dalrymple, Lord North Berwick 17 March 1698 20 June 1737 Commissioner for New Galloway (1690-1702);
Dean of the Faculty of Advocates (1695-1698);
Commissioner for North Berwick (1702-1707)
Duncan Forbes, Lord Culloden 20 June 1737 4 June 1748 MP for Ayr Burghs (1721-1722);
MP for Inverness Burghs (1722-1737);
Lord Advocate (1725-1737)
Robert Dundas, Lord Arniston the Elder 4 June 1748 26 August 1753 Solicitor General for Scotland (1717-1720);
Lord Advocate (1720-1725);
MP for Midlothian (1722-1737);
Senator of the College of Justice (1737-1753)
Robert Craigie of Glendoick 22 January 1754 10 March 1760

MP for Tain Burghs (1742-1747);
Lord Advocate (1742-1746)

Robert Dundas, Lord Arniston the Younger 30 April 1760 13 December 1787 Solicitor General for Scotland (1742-1746);
Dean of the Faculty of Advocates (1746-1760)
Lord Advocate (1754-1760);
MP for Midlothian (1754-1760)
Thomas Miller, Lord Glenlee 22 December 1787 27 September 1789 MP for Dumfries Burghs (1761-1766);
Solicitor General for Scotland (1759-1760);
Lord Advocate (1760-1766);
Lord Justice Clerk (1766-1787)
Ilay Campbell, Lord Succoth 26 October 1789 31 August 1808 Solicitor General for Scotland (1783-1784);
MP for Clyde Burghs (1784-1790);
Lord Advocate (1784-1789)
Robert Blair, Lord Avontoun 31 August 1808 20 May 1811 Solicitor General for Scotland (1789-1806);
Dean of the Faculty of Advocates (1801-1808)
Charles Hope, Lord Granton 10 October 1811 20 July 1841 Lord Advocate (1801-1804);
MP for Dumfries Burghs (1802);
MP for Edinburgh (1803-1805);
Lord Justice Clerk (1804-1811)
David Boyle, Lord Boyle 7 October 1841 5 May 1852 MP for Ayrshire (1807-1811);
Solicitor General for Scotland (1807-1811);
Lord Justice Clerk (1811-1841)
Duncan McNeill, Lord Colonsay 14 May 1852 25 February 1867 MP for Argyllshire (1843-1851);
Solicitor General for Scotland (1834-1835 & 1841-1842);
Lord Advocate (1842-1846)
John Inglis, Lord Glencorse 25 February 1867 20 August 1891 MP for Stamford (1858); Solicitor General for Scotland (1852);
Lord Advocate (1852 & 1858);
Lord Justice Clerk (1858-1867)
James Robertson, Lord Robertson 21 September 1891 21 November 1899 MP for Buteshire (1885-1891);
Solicitor General for Scotland (1885-1886 & 1886-1888);
Lord Advocate (1888-1891); Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (1899-1909)
John Balfour, 1st Baron Kinross 21 November 1899 22 January 1905 MP for Clackmannan and Kinross (1880-1899);
Solicitor General for Scotland (1880-1881);
Lord Advocate (1881-1885, 1886 & 1892-1895)
Andrew Murray, 1st Baron Dunedin 4 February 1905 14 October 1913 MP for Buteshire (1891-1905);
Solicitor General for Scotland (1905-1909);
Lord Advocate (1909-1913);
Secretary for Scotland (1903-1905);
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (1913-1932)
Alexander Ure, 1st Baron Strathclyde 14 October 1913 1 April 1920 MP for Linlithgowshire (1895-1913);
Solicitor General for Scotland (1891-1892 & 1895-1896);
Lord Advocate (1896-1903)
James Avon Clyde, Lord Clyde 1 April 1920 1 April 1935 Solicitor General for Scotland (1905);
MP for Edinburgh West (1909-1918)
and Edinburgh North (1918-1920); Lord Advocate (1916-1920)
Wilfred Normand, Lord Normand 1 April 1935 6 January 1947 MP for Edinburgh West (1931-1935);
Solicitor General for Scotland (1929 & 1931-1933);
Lord Advocate (1933-1935); Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (1947-1953)
Thomas Cooper, Lord Cooper 6 January 1947 23 December 1954 MP for Edinburgh West (1935-1941);
Solicitor General for Scotland (1935);
Lord Advocate (1935-1941);
Senator of the College of Justice (1941-1954);
Lord Justice Clerk (1947-1954)
James Latham Clyde, Lord Clyde 23 December 1954 25 April 1972 MP for Edinburgh North (1950-1954); Lord Advocate (1951-1954);
Senator of the College of Justice (1954-1972)
George Emslie, Baron Emslie 25 April 1972 27 September 1989 Dean of the Faculty of Advocates (1965-1970);
Senator of the College of Justice (1970-1989)
David Hope, Baron Hope of Craighead 27 September 1989 1 October 1996 Dean of the Faculty of Advocates (1986-1989);
Senator of the College of Justice (1989-1996);
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (1996-2009);
Second Senior Law Lord (2009);
Deputy President of the Supreme Court (2009-2013)
Alan Rodger, Baron Rodger of Earlsferry 1 October 1996 13 November 2001 Solicitor General for Scotland (1989-1992);
Lord Advocate (1992-1995);
Senator of the College of Justice (1995-2001);
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (2001-2009);
Justice of the Supreme Court (2009-2011)
William Cullen, Baron Cullen of Whitekirk 13 November 2001 2 December 2005 Chairman of the Medical Appeals Tribunals (1977-1986);
Senator of the College of Justice (1986-2005);
Lord Justice Clerk (1997-2001)
Arthur Hamilton, Lord Hamilton 2 December 2005 8 June 2012 Chairman of the Medical Appeals Tribunals (1988-1992);
President of the Pensions Appeal Tribunal in Scotland (1992-1995);
Senator of the College of Justice (1995-2012)
Brian Gill, Lord Gill 8 June 2012 Incumbent Senator of the College of Justice (1994-present);
Lord Justice Clerk (2001-2012)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Section 2, Paragraph 1, Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008", Acts of the Scottish Parliament 2008 (6): 2(1), retrieved 2009-08-29, The Lord President is the Head of the Scottish Judiciary. 
  2. ^ "Section 18, Court of Session Act 1830", Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom 69, 1830-07-23: 18, Office of lord justice general to devolve on lord president. 
  3. ^ "Section 2, Paragraph 5, Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008", Acts of the Scottish Parliament 2008 (6): 2(5), retrieved 2009-08-29, References in this section to the Scottish judiciary are references to the judiciary of any court established under the law of Scotland (other than the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom). 
  4. ^ "Schedule, Promissory Oaths Act 1868", Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom 72, 1868: Schedule, retrieved 2009-09-01, The oath as to England is to be tendered by the Clerk of the Council, and taken in presence of Her Majesty in Council, or otherwise as Her Majesty shall direct. The oath as to Scotland is to be tendered by the Lord President of the Court of Session at a sitting of the Court. 
  5. ^ https://archive.org/stream/scotspeeragefoun03pauluoft#page/172/mode/2up