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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 November 2005, 15:37 GMT
Lord Hamilton appointed top judge
Lord Hamilton
Lord Hamilton vowed to uphold the judiciary's independence
The Queen has approved the appointment of Lord Hamilton as Scotland's most senior judge.

He has been chosen to replace Lord Cullen, who retires later this month as Lord President.

The new Lord President promised, with the assistance of his colleagues, to "uphold and strengthen" the independence of the judiciary.

Welcoming the appointment, First Minister Jack McConnell said Lord Hamilton had "substance and integrity".

Mr McConnell said: "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."

Lord Hamilton was nominated by the first minister on advice provided by a special panel of judicial and lay experts.

General supervision

The Lord President routinely presides in the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary.

In addition to his judicial duties, the Lord President has general supervision over all of the business of the Court of Session and the High Court.

He also makes appointments to some tribunals sitting in Scotland and makes recommendations for QCs.

Lord Hamilton, 63, was appointed as a Senator of the College of Justice in 1995.

From 1997 to 2000 he worked as a commercial judge and in January 2002 he was appointed as a judge of the Inner House.

Lord Cullen has been a judge for 19 years and presided over the inquiries into the Piper Alpha disaster and the Dunblane shootings, as well as that into the Ladbroke Grove rail tragedy in London.

Panel will appoint top legal post
15 Jul 05 |  Scotland

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