Appointment of Queen's Counsel in Scotland 2021

A report by Bill Thomson, an independent observer that has been engaged by the Scottish Government to report on the fairness and objectivity of the process for the Appointment of Queen's Counsel in Scotland.


I have examined all of the applications, including the self-assessments and references, and have seen the scoring by judges. The Lord President's Private Secretary has provided me with all relevant papers and background information. After meeting with Lord Carloway to ask about any matters on which I considered that further explanation would be helpful, I am satisfied that the assessment of QC applications has been conducted fairly and thoroughly in accordance with the process set out in the Guide for Applicants. It is clear from the information available to me that the recommendations to be made to the First Minister are based on merit and that they go some way to addressing perceived shortages in the availability of senior counsel with specialisms.

William (Bill) Thomson
20 July 2021



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