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Laura Dunlop QC named Mental Health Tribunals President

10 October 2019

Laura Dunlop QC has been named as the new President of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland.

Her appointment takes effect from Saturday 12 October 2019. She succeeds Dr Joe Morrow, who is retiring after 11 years in post.

Ms Dunlop has practised at the bar for the past 30 years. As well as courtroom experience at all levels, she has extensive experience of public inquiries. She has served as Procurator to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland since 2005, and was a commissioner on the Scottish Law Commission from 2009 to 2014.

She has held three Tribunal roles: legal member of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland and the Pensions Appeal Tribunal for Scotland since 2016, and Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) since 2018.

Her new post is non-salaried and attracts a daily fee of £550.

The Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland is sheduled to move into the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland, becoming the Mental Health Chamber. The President will then become President of the Mental Health Chamber.

Minister for Community Safety Ash Denham, who appointed Ms Dunlop following a Scottish Government recruitment exercise, commented: “I am delighted that Ms Dunlop has accepted this appointment and have no doubt that both users and members of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland will benefit greatly from her wealth of legal knowledge and tribunal experience.

“In her new role as President Ms Dunlop will provide leadership and management to the Mental Health Tribunal, ensuring that both judicial standards and public confidence in the tribunal remain high. I congratulate Ms Dunlop and wish her all the very best in her new role.

“I am also very grateful to the outgoing President, Dr Joe Morrow, for his dedicated work and commitment as President of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland for the past 11 years, and as a member of the tribunal since 2005. Under his leadership, the tribunal has implemented a number of improvements, with patient-focused outcomes remaining at the centre of it all.

“I have been impressed by his knowledge, passion and commitment not only to the tribunal, but more widely to mental health in Scotland and the issues surrounding it."

Dr Morrow will continue in his role as Lord Lyon.

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