New Judge Appointments


The Queen, on the recommendation of the First Minister, Donald Dewar, has appointed 2 new Judges of the Court of Session. They are the Rt Hon The Lord Mackay of Drumadoon, QC and Sheriff Robin G McEwan, QC. It is expected that both new Judges will take up their appointments with effect from the week beginning 20 March.

The Rt Hon Lord Mackay of Drumadoon (54) qualified as a Solicitor in 1971 and was called to the Bar in 1976. He was an Advocate Depute between 1982-85 and took Silk in 1987. He had a Commission as a temporary Sheriff from 1988-92 and was a member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board between 1989-95. He was appointed Solicitor General in May 1995 and became Lord Advocate in November 1995, serving in that capacity until the General Election in May 1997.

Sheriff Robin McEwan (56) was called to the Bar in 1967 and served as a Advocate Depute between 1976 and 1979. He took Silk in 1981 and has been a Sheriff since 1982, serving at Lanark between 1982 and 1988 and at Ayr Sheriff court since then. He was a member of the Scottish Legal Aid Board between 1989 and 1996. He was appointed a temporary Judge in 1991 and gave regular service in that capacity until November


The new appointments were recommended to The Queen by First Minister Donald Dewar. In terms of the requirements of the Scotland Act 1998 there were consultations with the Lord President of the Court of Session who has fully supported the appointments. These are likely to be the last appointments to the Court of Session under the existing system. The Executive will issue a consultation paper on possible changes shortly.

These appointments will take the total complement of the Supreme Court Bench to 32, the maximum allowed under the current legislation. The total number was increased in the expectation of the loss of 4 Judges to take the Lockerbie trial in the Netherlands and the absence of Lord Cullen for a substantial period as Chair of the Inquiry into the Paddington Rail Disaster.

News Release: SE0704/2000
14 Mar 2000