Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Jock Thomson QC: a sad loss

I am greatly saddened to learn of the death of Jock Thomson QC, a stalwart Justice for Megrahi supporter and adviser, and a former police officer and procurator fiscal depute before being called to the Bar. Here is what Steven Raeburn posted earlier today on Facebook:

Truly saddened to learn of the passing of an immense man. The great Jock Thomson. I had the pleasure of getting to know him via The Firm, and very, very rarely in my career have I encountered someone held in such high esteem by his peers. A man of true principle, conviction, rigour, integrity, personifying the best of the profession. He led by the strength of his own example, and stood tall when the law and those charged with leading it were unable to be the equal of his example. He was held in the highest regard by the best of people, and the world is truly a poorer place without him. Carve his name with pride.”

I concur.

Here is something that Jock Thomson wrote just under a year ago:

‘"I have marched for CND and marched against the Iraq War. I am tired of marching." The Justice Secretary and I have that much in common. I share his abhorrence of nuclear weapons. I too have marched for CND, against the Iraq War and Walked for the World. I too am tired, but I have one march (at least) left in me. 

‘To Strasbourg and back if needs be. For what? For an independent inquiry into the Lockerbie disaster which arguably brought about the greatest miscarriage of justice in our history – ever.

‘But I'm older and sadder and (if not wiser) certainly more tired than Mr MacAskill. Please spare me the effort. Order an independent public inquiry into the shame that brought about Megrahi's conviction. Stifle your “we've-heard-it-all-before” yawns: when, until now, has Crown Office been described as being "institutionally corrupt"? (Scottish Law Reporter 17 Oct).

'If your hands are clean -
If the hands of your Law Officers and those in Crown Office are clean -
If what happened at Camp Zeist can be said to be clean -
What, Sir, have you to fear?'


  1. Jock Thomson QC, a stalwart Justice for Megrahi supporter and adviser died...

    When the Sun of life goes down.the stars shine in memory.
    Heartfelt sympathy

    Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Switzerland

  2. I met Jock last year at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow. John Ashton was there being interviewed by Lucy Adams on his book "Megrahi: You Are My Jury".

    John and Lucy discussed the book and afterwards the audience were allowed to put questions. My own questions turned into a bit of a speech. This was not an attempt by me to attract attention. I just had so many questions of the investigation and the whole shebang! John Ashton, being the gentleman he is, coped with the applause my "speech" attracted when I'd finished although I was mortified as I hadn't sought applause.

    When the evening was over and I was preparing to leave this man approached me and introduced himself as Jock Thomson. He held out his hand to me and said, "Well done. My name is Jock Thomson, you spoke very well, we need more people like you. Tell me all about yourself!" There wasn't a lot to tell. Once that was over with he told me who he was and I was pretty overwhelmed. A QC telling me I'd done a good thing? Wow. What a nice man.

    We spent a while nattering and I was completely at ease. This disturbed me a bit. I was thinking, "This guy is a QC and I'm just me yet he is making me completely comfortable." Few QCs have that gift. I am glad that the two QCs I know have it. Jock, I hope you are at peace. I so much enjoyed our natter that night. RIP

    (The other one is Robert Black.)

  3. Jock Thomson was a man without a bad bone in his body .