Thursday, 19 May 2011

New Solicitor General another from the same mould

After the promotion of Frank Mulholland to Lord Advocate, Lesley Thomson, another long-standing Crown Office civil servant has been appointed Solicitor General. Ms Thomson has worked in the Crown Office in various posts since 1985, latterly as area procurator fiscal for Glasgow.

I have no reason to doubt that Ms Thomson, throughout her career, has, like Frank Mulholland, demonstrated the best qualities of a conscientious and dedicated legal civil servant and prosecutor. But these are not the qualities that are required in those whose role is, inter alia, to provide the department with policy oversight and independent scrutiny and to ensure that bureaucratic imperatives do not trump the interests of the people of Scotland in the efficient, transparent and disinterested administration of criminal justice.

These are bad appointments.


  1. I can't help wondering, though, whether Colin Boyd (no, I can assure the court that there is nothing in the redacted passages that bears on Mr. Majid's credibility as a witness) was any better.

    And at least we haven't got the Zeist appeal prosecution advocate.

  2. Still, Lord Boyd of Duncansby should now be standing by his bed in the House of Lords, where he is about to be joined by the former Lord Advocate. Presumably Elish will have to drop the 'Lord' title when she gets there: how about the Rt Hon. Baroness Angiolini of the Crown Office?

    All of which makes me wonder whether Frank Mulholland is to be made a Privy Counsellor, and whether the new Lord Advocate will be invited to join Alex Salmond's cabinet (the Labour-appointed predecessor was ejected in 2007).