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EDITIONS
Thursday, 1 February, 2001, 08:20 GMT
The men in robes
Lord Sutherland
Lord Sutherland, the presiding judge
Lord Sutherland was the presiding judge at the Lockerbie trial, sitting with Lord Coulsfield and Lord MacLean. Lord Abernethy was an additional judge.


Lord Sutherland, born Ranald Iain Sutherland, has been a judge since 1985 and is a member of the First Division of the Inner House.

A graduate of Edinburgh University (MA LLB), he was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1956.

He served as an Advocate Depute from 1962 to 1964 and from 1971 to 1977 and was Standing Junior to the Ministry of Defence from 1964 to 1969.

He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1969 and was a member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board from 1977 until 1985.

He is the Scottish representative to the International Association of Judges.


Lord Coulsfield, born John Taylor Cameron, became a judge in 1987 and now sits in the Second Division of the Inner House and in the Lands Valuation Appeal Court.

He is a graduate of the Universities of Oxford (BA, Corpus Christi College) and Edinburgh (LLB) and was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1960.

Lord Coulsfield
Lord Coulsfield
From 1960 to 1964 he lectured in Public Law at Edinburgh University. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1973 and served as an Advocate Depute from 1977 to 1979.

Lord Coulsfield was a Chairman of the Medical Appeals Tribunal for Scotland from 1985 to 1987 and was the Scottish judge on the Employment Appeal Tribunal from 1992 to 1996.

Prior to his appointment to the Court of Session, he was a judge in the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey. He is an editor of Scottish Law and Practice Quarterly.

Lord Coulsfield chaired the committee which led to the creation of a specialised court for commercial actions and was a judge in that court from 1996 until 1998.

He has also chaired a committee on procedure in actions of reparation for personal injury, which reported in 1998.


Lord MacLean, born Ranald Norman Munro MacLean, is a graduate of the Universities of Cambridge (BA, Clare College), Edinburgh (LLB) and Yale (LLM).

He has been a judge since 1990. He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1964 and appointed Queen's Counsel in 1977.

Lord MacLean
Lord MacLean
He served as an Advocate Depute from 1972 to 1975 and was Home Advocate Depute from 1979 to 1982. He has served on the Scottish Legal Aid Board, the Council on Tribunals and the Stewart Committee on Alternatives to Prosecution.

Lord MacLean has been a member of the Parole Board for Scotland since 1998, a member of the Secretary of State for Scotland's Criminal Justice Forum since 1996, and the Chairman of the Governors of Fettes College, Edinburgh since 1996.

From 1988 to 1996 he was Chairman of the Council of the Cockburn Association.

In January 1999 he was appointed Chairman of a committee whose remit is to review the sentencing and treatment of serious sexual and violent offenders including those with personality disorders.


Lord Abernethy, born John Alastair Cameron, became a Judge in 1992. He is a graduate of Oxford University (Pembroke College, MA) and an Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College.

He was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1963 and in 1966 he was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates.

He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1979. He was Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Advocates from 1983 to 1992.

He was an Advocate Depute from 1972 to 1975 and served as Standing Junior Counsel to the Department of Energy (1976-79) and the Scottish Development Department (1978-79).

He was a Legal Chairman of Pensions Appeal Tribunals for Scotland from 1979 to 1992 and President of the Tribunals from 1985 to 1992.

Lord Abernethy is an active member of the International Bar Association. He was Chairman of the Association's Judges' Forum from 1994 to 1998.

Since then he has been a council member of the Association's Section on Legal Practice and its Human Rights Institute.

He has been President of the Scottish Medico-Legal Society since 1996 and is the author of Medical Negligence: An Introduction (1983).

The trial of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah is due to begin in February, under Scots Law, in the Netherlands.

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