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Chair of the Inquiry

The Rt Hon Lady Smith has been appointed by the Deputy First Minister as Chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Lady Smith is supported by a Secretariat, a Legal Team and Counsel to the Inquiry. You can find further information on the Inquiry team here.

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

  • She is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh (LL.B. Hons).She was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1980 and was Standing Junior Counsel to the Countryside Commission.

  • Lady Smith was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1993. She served as a Temporary Sheriff from 1995 to 1999, was Chair of the Scottish Partnership on Domestic Abuse from 1998 to 2000 and served as Advocate Depute from 2000 until she was appointed a Judge.She served as a member of the Court of Session Rules Council.

  • Having a long standing interest in and experience of cases involving children and families, she chaired the Advocates Family Law Group.Similarly, on account of her interest in and experience of cases involving breaches of duty by professional persons, she chaired the Advocates Professional Negligence Group.

  • As a judge, Lady Smith has carried out a wide range of judicial duties including serving as the Scottish Employment Appeal Tribunal judge for eight years between 2004 and 2012, chairing the Scottish Tribunal Forum and chairing the Reserved Tribunals Group, thus engaging with the work of tribunals and their particular responses to the needs of individual users. Lady Smith was appointed as the first President of the Scottish Tribunals in July 2014.

  • She is married and has two children.

The Chair's Appointment Letter

The Chair’s declaration of impartiality