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Death of former Sheriff Principal Nicholson

31 August 2009

Gordon Nicholson QC, former Sheriff Principal of Lothian & Borders and the architect of the new Licensing (Scotland) Act, has died suddenly, it was announced today.

His death last Wednesday (26 August) came just before the full commencement tomorrow (1 September) of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, which is based on the recommendations of the committee he chaired which reported in 2003.

Born in September 1935, Charles Gordon Brown Nicholson graduated in law from Edinburgh University in 1958 and was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1961. He practised as an advocate until 1970, when he was appointed sheriff, first at Dumfries, where he served until 1976, and then at Edinburgh from 1976 to 1982.

In 1982 he was appointed Queen's Counsel and also appointed a member of the Scottish Law Commission, where he served until 1989. He became Sheriff Principal of Lothian & Borders in 1990 and served until his retirement in 2002. He also gave service as a temporary judge in the High Court and as a member of the first independent panel to consider judicial appointments in Scotland.

Sheriff Principal Nicholson was also author of a textbook on sentencing, and a contributor to other titles.

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