Lady Dorrian appointed Lord Justice Clerk

We are delighted to extend our congratulations to Lady Dorrian, a member of the Aberdeen Law Project’s Advisory Committee, who has been appointed Lord Justice Clerk on the recommendation of the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

A graduate of the University of Aberdeen, Lady Dorrian was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1981 where she served as Standing Junior Counsel to the Health and Safety Executive and Commission between 1987 and 1994. She also served as an Advocate Depute between 1988 and 1991 and later became Standing Junior to the Department of Energy in 1991 until 1994.  She was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1994 and between 1997 and 2001, she was a member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.

In 2002, Lady Dorrian joined the Court of Session as a Temporary Judge before becoming a full-time Senator of the College of Justice in 2005.

As Lord Justice Clerk, the second most senior judge in Scotland (after the Lord President of the Court of Session), Lady Dorrian will hold the office of President of the Second Division of the Inner House of the Court of Session, and so is also chair of the Scottish Sentencing Council. In addition to this, the Lord Justice Clerk is heavily involved criminal appeals system.

Here at the Aberdeen Law Project, we would like to offer our warm congratulations to Lady Dorrian and believe her breadth of experience and knowledge make her an excellent choice to serve Scotland in this role. We are honoured to have someone of her experience, knowledge and standing sit on our Advisory Committee. 

Christine McLintock delivers Annual Lecture

Law Society of Scotland President Christine McLintock addresses The Aberdeen Law Project Annual Lecture

The Aberdeen Law Project was delighted to welcome Law Society of Scotland President Christine McLintock to deliver keynote address at the 2016 Annual Lecture

The Aberdeen Law Project was honoured to welcome Christine McLintock, the President of the Law Society of Scotland, to the Annual Lecture 2016. Prior to the lecture the President met with members of the Project's Management Team as well as award winners for lunch where the student members had the opportunity to discuss the ongoing work of the Project.

Ms McLintock's address on the topic of "Access to Justice" discussed a variety of topical issues impacting upon access to justice and pro bono activities in Scotland. 

Her lecture highlighted the ongoing challenges faced by civil legal aid in the face of substantial cuts. She also explained how the economic downturn has affected the justice system as a whole, resulting in a growing unmet legal need which is a serious problem. However, she referred to various initiatives that have been put in place to attempt to address this gap to justice, notably; the Law Society's Fair Access Review and the establishment of the Scottish Legal Education Trust.

The lecture also importantly addressed the changing emphasis with regards to the role of advancing technology in the justice system. Ms McLintock spoke about a Scottish Government initiative: Digital Strategy for Justice. Additionally, she announced the Law Society will be establishing an Inaugural Hackathon to explore the potential of technology in the justice system.

Ms McClintock closed her address by commenting that the work of the Aberdeen Law Project is promising and that access to justice is essential in a democracy. Ms McClintock also took questions from attendees alongside the Head of Policy for the Law Society of Scotland, Andrew Alexander.

At the event, former Aberdeen Law Project Student Director Anna Robertson addressed the progress of the Project since her time in charge whilst current Student Director Lindsay McCormick commented the successes of the project in the past 12 months.

Lindsay McCormick, Student Director 2015-2016, reflecting on the lecture said;

“The Aberdeen Law Project was privileged to have Christine McClintock speak at our Annual Lecture 2016. Having such a prominent figure in the Scottish legal system show their support for the Project provides student members with further reassurance that the work to fill the gap in the legal market in Aberdeenshire is vital. Her lecture gave great insight as to the problems surrounding pro bono legal work, and acknowledgement that efforts of the Aberdeen Law Project are of great importance at a time where  legal aid budget cutting continues to restrict access to justice for the public.”