The Scottish Ministerial Code: independent advisers

Information on the independent advisers of the Scottish Ministerial Code.

The Scottish Ministerial Code provides a code of conduct and guidance on procedures for Scottish Ministers. The latest edition was published in July 2023.

The June 2008 edition of the Scottish Ministerial Code introduced independent advisers on the application of the Code.

Where they deem it appropriate, the First Minister may refer matters to the independent advisers to provide advice on which to base their judgement about any action required in respect of ministerial conduct. The findings of the independent advisers are published.

The independent advisers are currently:

  • Rt Hon Dame Elish Angiolini QC DBE (since August 2011)
  • James Hamilton, former Director of Public Prosecutions at the Irish Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (since January 2013)

Details of independent advisers and their reports since 2008:

Name Appointment Report(s)
Rt Hon Sir George Reid and Rt Hon Lord Steel of Aikwood KT KBE June 2008 to August 2011 March 2009, August 2009, January 2010
Rt Hon Dame Elish Angiolini QC DBE August 2011 to date June 2012
Rt Hon Lord Fraser of Carmyllie QC August 2011 to June 2013 November 2011
Sir David Bell KCB October 2012 to January 2013 January 2013 and related correspondence
James Hamilton January 2013 to date -


The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

Phone: 0300 244 4000


Back to top