Appointment of Queen's Counsel in Scotland 2022

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.


[Please note prior to the publication of the Independent Observer's Report, Her Majesty The Queen sadly passed away on 8 September 2022, and prior to the appointments being finalised, most references have now been changed to King's Counsel.]

The appointment of King's Counsel is made by His Majesty The King on the recommendation of the First Minister, who seeks nominations for that purpose from the Lord Justice General. The Lord Justice General in turn invites applications from suitably qualified advocates and solicitor advocates.

The history and mechanics of the application process and the assessment criteria are set out in the Guide for Applicants, as revised in March 2022. The Guide is available from the Judiciary of Scotland website.

The role of the Independent Observer is to review the appointment round, including all applications, assessments and related documents and correspondence, taking account of any policy developments since the last round and, after discussing any issues with the Lord Justice General, submit a report to the First Minister.



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