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Lord Hamilton is new Lord President

24 November 2005

The Rt Hon Lord Hamilton has been appointed as Scotland's new Lord President, succeeding Lord Cullen who retires this week after 19 years of service as a judge.

First Minister Jack McConnell said that Lord Hamilton was an outstanding individual who would lead Scotland's judiciary with independence and integrity, and with a clear vision for the continued modernisation of Scotland's Supreme Courts.

Lord Hamilton was nominated by the First Minister taking account of advice provided by a special panel of judicial and lay experts.

The Lord President is the most senior judge in Scotland, the head of the Court of Session, and as Lord Justice General, head of the High Court of Justiciary. He routinely presides in these courts dealing mainly with appeals, makes appointments to tribunals in Scotland and recommends people for the rank of QC.

Arthur Hamilton, 63, was born in Glasgow and studied at Glasgow, Oxford (BA) and Edinburgh (LLB) Universities. He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1968 and became QC in 1982. Previous appointments include chairman of the medical appeal tribunals, President of the Pensions Appeal Tribunal and temporary sheriff principal of Tayside, Central and Fife.

He was appointed to the Court of Session bench in 1995 and in January 2002 he was promoted to the Inner House. He has also served as the specialist commercial judge.

Mr McConnell said: "The Rt Hon Lord Hamilton is an individual of substance and integrity, and will lead Scotland's judiciary with independence and distinction.

"This is a time of great change and reform in our courts - changes that are inspiring renewed confidence in our legal system. I am sure that Lord Hamilton will build on the legacy left by Lord Cullen in this regard and play a significant and influential role in the continued modernisation of our court system."