We need best people to join Bench, says Lord President

24 Sep


THE Lord President, Lord Carloway, has urged the cream of Scotland’s legal profession to consider a career on the Bench.

In an address at the Opening of the Legal Year 2018-19, Lord Carloway said he continued to have concerns about the reluctance of many of the best practitioners to consider applying to join the judiciary.

“There are broad factors in play; partly financial, but also perceptions of the nature of the judicial workload and its potential impact on personal commitments,” he added.

Lord Carloway hoped that two developments would assist – a judicial work shadowing scheme to provide “a reassuring insight into life on the Bench”, and a changing workload so only the most important cases, from a legal perspective, were heard in the Supreme Courts.

“I anticipate that recruitment for three new judges, to replace those retiring, will commence in mid-2019 for appointment then and in 2020. I hope that this will attract the highest calibre of candidate, since that is what is needed not just to fill the Outer or even the Inner House but, in the fullness of time, to chair the appellate Divisions as Lord President or Lord Justice Clerk, shaping the law towards the middle of the century,” Lord Carloway stated.

He noted that the work of trial courts in the High Court continued to grow significantly.

“Registered indictments are projected to break the 1,000 mark for the first time next year…I am confident that we can reduce the potential effects of the increase, provided that everyone – the courts, the Crown and the legal profession – play their part; especially in relation, in all three cases, to preparation and readiness to proceed,” said Lord Carloway.

He welcomed nine recently-appointed QCs – Faculty members Andrew Webster, Bruce Erroch, Una Doherty, Vinit Khurana, Ronaldo Renucci, Jane Farquharson and Ruth Innes, and solicitor-advocates, James Cormack and Richard Goddard.

“The rank and dignity of Queen’s Counsel is hard earned and well deserved for each of you,” he said.