Two new judges and a Sheriff Principal


The first judges and sheriff principal to be appointed under Scotland's new modern appointment process have been announced today.

The First Minister has accepted the first ever recommendations from the new independent Judicial Appointments Board and has nominated them to The Queen for appointment. Her Majesty has approved the appointments.

Mr Philip Brodie QC and Mr Alistair Campbell QC have been appointed as Senators of the College of Justice.

Mr Brodie will take up a vacancy created by the retirement in September of Rt Hon Lord Coulsfield.

Mr Campbell will take up his appointment in January, when the Rt Hon Lord Cameron of Lochbroom retires.

The Queen has also approved the appointment of Sheriff Iain Macphail QC to be Sheriff Principal of Lothian and Borders in succession to Sheriff Principal Gordon Nicholson QC who retires today.

Justice Minister Jim Wallace said:

"A new era has dawned for judicial appointments in Scotland. Eighteen months have passed since I announced the creation of a new independent Judicial Appointments Board to advise Ministers on the appointment of Judges, Sheriffs Principal and Sheriffs.

"A lot of work has been required to get us to the point where we are today with a more open and transparent system that reflects the Executive's commitment to increased openness in public life.

"These appointments mark a significant departure from previous arrangements for recommending Judicial appointments. In the past the Lord Advocate played a key role in making recommendations. However, the Scottish Executive believed that it was important to make the system of appointments more transparent and open and it was decided to establish an independent Board to interview and then recommend applicants."

The First Minister said:

"I am very pleased to be able to act on the advice of the Board which Jim Wallace and I established this year. All the names submitted to Her Majesty were identified by the Board as suitable for appointment. Opening up the process of appointment in this way is a very positive development

"This is a further sign of our determination to modernise the legal system in Scotland. Significant progress has already been made. I made a non political appointment to the post of Solicitor General. Elish Angiolini also happened to be the first ever woman and first ever solicitor to hold the post.

"We have embarked on a radical reform programme for the Crown Office involving new management structures and large scale investment. We now have a modern appointment process for our judiciary. The scale of these reforms should not be under estimated and I am sure they will enhance public confindence in our courts."

Biographical Details

Philip Hope Brodie QC

Mr Brodie was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1976 and took Silk in 1987. He was Standing Junior Counsel (Scotland) to the Ministry of Defence (Procurement) and the Health and Safety at Work Executive from 1963 to 1987. He was Part-time Chairman of Industrial Tribunals from 1987 to 1991 and Part-time Chairman of Medical Appeal Tribunals from 1991 to 1996. He was Advocate Depute from 1997 to 1999. In 2002 he was appointed Part-time Chairman of Employment Tribunals.

Mr Brodie also served as Part-time Commissioner of the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland from 1985 to 1996.

Alastair Peter Campbell QC

Mr Campbell was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1985. He took Silk in 1995. Before going to the Bar he served as Procurator Fiscal Depute in the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

As Junior Counsel he was appointed First Junior Counsel to the Inquiry in Lord Cullen's Inquiry into the Piper Alpha Disaster from 1988-1990, served as Advocate Depute from 1990 to 1993 and was appointed Temporary Sheriff from 1993 to 1997. In 1995 he was Standing Junior Counsel to HM Customs and Excise.

During his practice as Senior Counsel Mr Campbell was a member of the Criminal Justice Forum, the Scottish Criminal Rules Council and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. He was Home Advocate Depute from 1997 to 1998. From 1999 to 2002 he was leading Crown Counsel at the Scottish Court in the Netherlands.

Sheriff Iain Duncan Macphail QC

Iain Macphail was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1963. He was Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Home and Health Department and the Department of Health and Social Security.

He was first appointed Sheriff of Glasgow and Strathkelvin in 1973 and served there until transferring to the Sheriffdom of Tayside Central and Fife at Dunfermline and Alloa in 1981. A year later he transferred to the Sheriffdom of Lothian and Borders at Linlithgow where he remained until becoming Sheriff of Lothian and Borders at Edinburgh in 1988.

The Judicial Appointments Board comprises of 10 people - equal numbers of legal and lay members. The individuals are:

Sir Neil McIntosh, Chairman
Sir Robert Smith
Mrs Barbara Duffner
Professor Alan Paterson
Rt Hon Lord MacLean
Sheriff Principal B Kerr QC
Colin Campbell QC
Sheriff D Allan
Professor Joan Stringer
Mr M Scanlan

The posts were advertised in the national and professional press. The Board sifted the applications and interviewed a shortlist of candidates before giving the First Minister a written report. Mr Brodie and Mr Campbell were the Board's own preferred choices for the office of Judge, and Sheriff Macphail was the Board's preferred choice as Sheriff Principal of Lothian and Borders.