New sheriffs appointed at Oban and Fort William

Patrick Hughes and Eilidh MacDonald have been appointed to the office of sheriff by Her Majesty the Queen, the Scottish Ministers have announced.

Patrick Hughes has been appointed to the Sheriffdom of North Strathclyde, to be based at Oban Sheriff Court and Eilidh MacDonald has been appointed to the Sheriffdom of Grampian, Highland and Islands to be based at Fort William Sheriff Court.

Mr Hughes is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde and obtained a LLM in European Law from the College of Europe. Following a traineeship with MacRoberts, Mr Hughes became a Procurator Fiscal Depute in 2004. He was promoted to Senior Procurator Fiscal Depute in 2008, including a period as Acting Head of the Wildlife & Environmental Crime Unit 2014. Mr Hughes was a part-time tutor at the University of Strathclyde, in Public Law between 2005 and 2007 and in European Union Law between 2005 and 2015.

Ms MacDonald is a graduate of the University of Dundee. Following a traineeship with Macleod & MacCallum Solicitors, Ms MacDonald became a Senior Legal Assistant with Forrest & Co in 1998 and then a Partner with Simpson MacDonald Solicitors in 1999. She has been the Head of Office and Solicitor for the Public Defence Solicitor’s Office in Inverness since 2004 and a Fee Paid Judge for the First Tier Tribunal, Social Entitlement Chamber since 2013.

The appointments were made by the Queen on the recommendation of the First Minister, on the basis of a report by the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland.

The Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland is an independent advisory public body with the role of recommending individuals for appointment to judicial offices within the Board’s remit including judge of the Court of Session, chair of the Scottish Land Court, sheriff principal, sheriff, and summary sheriff.

The First Minister has statutory responsibility for making recommendations to Her Majesty the Queen and is required by statute to consult the Lord President of the Court of Session before making her recommendation.

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