Senators of the College of Justice

Judicial and administrative duties

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Senators of the College of Justice are judges who sit in the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary. The senators achieve the necessary competence in both civil and criminal law and procedure in order to deal with the most important cases in both fields. The college was established in the sixteenth century. There are currently 34 senators.

Click here for a list of Inner House and Outer House senators.

For biographical details of each senator  see below.  

Sitting in the Court of Session, they deal with a wide range of civil matters, particularly complex and high value cases based on contractual disputes, judicial review, delict (a civil wrong) and the law relating to property, revenue, commerce, companies and intellectual property. Cases of constitutional importance have become more frequent.

The judges are divided between the court’s Outer House, which usually hears new cases, and its Inner House, which deals mostly with appeals. The Inner House is further divided into the First and Second Divisions, which have equal authority and are chaired by the Lord President and Lord Justice Clerk respectively.  The Divisions normally sit in panels of three judges. A jury of 12 lay people is required in some Outer House cases but judges there normally sit alone. After hearing civil cases, they produce reasoned judgments called Opinions, usually by working outside court hours.

In the High Court of Justiciary, the judges deal with the most serious crimes, such as murder, rape, culpable homicide and armed robbery. Here, they are technically referred to as Lords Commissioner of Justiciary.

High Court judges hear both new trials, also referred to as cases at first instance, and appeals. When sitting at first instance, a single judge presides over a case, which is tried by a jury of 15 men and women. The judge controls the proceedings in court, rules on legal challenges, gives legal directios to the jury and, if there is a conviction, sentences the accused. The judges also supervise the preparation of criminal cases to ensure they are ready to proceed. High Court judges travel on a circuit of the cities and major towns of the country. Two or more judges sit together to hear appeals against sentence and conviction.

Judges’ primary functions are to hear and determine cases but increasingly they have responsibility for case management and the administration of the court service. As a result, some judges have specialist duties, for instance, to ensure the efficient administration of the courts, organise training, hear certain cases or represent Scotland on international bodies.

For more information about the office of senator click here.

Appointment

Judges are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the First Minister, who receives recommendations from the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland. They must have exercised certain functions for at least five years – worked as an advocate, sheriff principal, sheriff or solicitor with rights of audience in the supreme courts. Traditionally, the Scottish Bench comprises the most able and experienced legal professionals. Judges must retire at 70.

The Right Hon Lord Gill (Brian Gill)

Lord President

Lord Gill was appointed Lord President and Lord Justice General in June 2012 having held the position of Lord Justice Clerk and President of the Second Division of the Inner House from November 2001

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The Right Hon Lord Carloway (Colin John MacLean Sutherland)

The Rt Hon Lord Carloway

Lord Carloway was appointed as Lord Justice Clerk in August 2012 having been appointed to the Second Division of the Inner House in August 2008. He has been a Judge since February 2000.

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The Right Hon Lord Eassie (Ronald David Mackay)

Lord Eassie was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in 1997 and was appointed to the Inner House in 2006.

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The Right Hon Lady Paton (Ann Paton)

Lady Paton was appointed a Judge in January 2000 and an Appeal Court Judge and Privy Counsellor in April 2007.

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The Right Hon Lord Menzies (Duncan Adam Young Menzies)

The Hon Lord Menzies

Lord Menzies was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in 2001 and was appointed to the Inner House in February 2012.

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The Right Hon Lady Smith (Anne Smith)

The Hon Lady Smith

Lady Smith was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in 2001 and was appointed to the Inner House in November 2012.

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The Right Hon Lord Brodie (Philip Hope Brodie)

The Hon Lord Brodie

Lord Brodie was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in 2002 and was appointed to the Inner House in November 2012.

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The Right Hon Lady Dorrian (Leeona J Dorrian)

The Hon Lady Dorian

Lady Dorrian was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in 2005, having served as a Temporary Judge since 2002. She was appointed to the Inner House in November 2012

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The Right Hon Lord Bracadale (Alastair P. Campbell)

The Hon Lord Bracadale

Lord Bracadale was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in 2003 and appointed to the Inner House in April 2013.

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The Rt Hon Lord Drummond Young (James Edward Drummond Young)

The Hon Lord Drummond Young

Lord Drummond Young was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in 2001 and he was appointed to the Inner House in June 2013.

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The Hon Lord Glennie (Angus Glennie)

The Hon Lord Glennie

Lord Glennie was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in 2005. In 2007 he was appointed a Commercial Judge and is currently the Principal Commercial Judge.

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The Hon Lord Kinclaven (Alexander F. Wylie)

The Hon Lord Kinclaven

Lord Kinclaven was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in 2005.

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The Right Hon the Lady Clark of Calton (Lynda Clark)

Lady Clark of Calton was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in 2006 and was appointed to the Inner House on 1 October 2013.

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The Hon Lord Turnbull (Alan Turnbull)

The Hon Lord Turnbull

Lord Turnbull was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in 2006.

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The Hon Lord Brailsford (S Neil Brailsford)

The Hon Lord Brailsford

Lord Brailsford was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in 2006

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The Hon Lord Uist (Roderick F Macdonald)

The Hon Lord Uist

Lord Uist was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in April 2006, having previously served as a Temporary Judge from July 2001

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The Hon Lord McGhie (James Marshall McGhie)

The Hon Lord McGhie

Lord McGhie has been Chairman of the Scottish Land Court and President of the Lands Tribunal for Scotland and since 1996.

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The Hon Lord Malcolm (Colin Malcolm Campbell)

Lord Malcolm was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in 2007.

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The Hon Lord Matthews (Hugh Matthews)

Lord Matthews updated (Aug 2013)

Lord Matthews was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in 2007, having served as a Temporary Judge since February 2004

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The Hon Lord Woolman (Stephen Errol Woolman)

The Hon Lord Woolman

Lord Woolman was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in March 2008.

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The Hon Lord Pentland (Paul Cullen)

The Hon Lord Pentland

Lord Pentland was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Courts in November 2008.

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The Hon Lord Bannatyne (Iain Alexander Scott Peebles, QC)

The Hon Lord Bannatyne

Having served as a Temporary Judge of the Court of Session and of the High Court of Justiciary since 2003, Lord Bannatyne was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in November 2008.

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The Hon Lady Stacey (Valerie E. Stacey)

The Hon Lady Stacey

Lady Stacey was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in January 2009

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The Hon Lord Tyre (Colin Jack Tyre CBE)

The Hon Lord Tyre

Lord Tyre was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in May 2010

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The Hon Lord Doherty (J. Raymond Doherty)

The Hon Lord Doherty

Lord Doherty was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Courts in May 2010

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The Hon Lord Stewart (Angus Stewart)

The Hon Lord Stewart

Lord Stewart was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in November 2010

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The Right Hon the Lord Boyd of Duncansby (Colin Boyd)

Lord Boyd

Lord Boyd was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in June 2012

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The Hon Lord Jones (Michael Jones)

Lord Jones

Lord Jones was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in July 2012

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The Hon Lord Burns (David Burns)

Lord Burns was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in July 2012

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The Hon Lady Scott (Margaret E. Scott)

Lady Scott

Lady Scott was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in November 2012.

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The Hon Lady Wise (Morag Wise)

Lady Wise

Lady Wise was appointed Judge of the Supreme Courts in February 2013.

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The Hon Lord Armstrong (Iain Armstrong)

Lord Amstrong

Lord Armstrong was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in February 2013.

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The Hon Lady Rae (Rita Rae)

Lady Rae

The Hon Lady Rae was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in January 2014.

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The Hon Lady Wolffe (Sarah Wolffe QC)

Lady Wolffe

The Hon Lady Wolffe was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in March 2014.

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Related FAQs

Q.Can a judge have another job?
Q.Do all judges wear robes? Why do judges wear different robes in civil and criminal courts?
Q.How do I address a judge in court?
Q.Why do judges wear wigs?

View all related FAQs

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