On GRA block, BBC Scotland consult ‘supremely mundane’ former judge (85) ‘suspicious of SNP’

The above is from BBC Scotland today.

Lord Hope said a UK government document outlining its reasons for blocking the Scottish reforms was “devastating”.


He doesn’t mention:

From Lewis Graham: Lessons from Lord Hope’s Diaries: judicial ideology and panel selection in 2020:

Any reader hoping to find grand exigencies on the nature of justice will be disappointed by the fact that Lord Hope’s Diaries are, by and large, a supremely mundane affair. In the fifth volume, his Lordship complains about a hen party “screeching and larking about” on his plane (p.279), balks at his colleagues’ rejection of morning dress (p.213)  and is irritated by having to listen to Clive Anderson on the radio (p.313). The number of passages which detail the minutiae of various judicial ceremonies far outweighs the number which provide insight into how cases were decided or which concern the mechanics of judging.

Lord Hope is far less forthright about his own inclinations, although he does occasionally comment upon political matters. He shows no definitive loyalty to any single party, although he is deeply suspicious of the SNP (pp.309-310)


5 thoughts on “On GRA block, BBC Scotland consult ‘supremely mundane’ former judge (85) ‘suspicious of SNP’

  1. Pretty much par for the course where the judiciary are concerned. Check out how many went to private schools then to Oxbridge (in Scotland maybe via Glasgow or Edinburgh Universities). The classic study – imo – is Jim Griffith’s book “Politics of the Judiciary” https://www.amazon.co.uk/Politics-Judiciary-J-G-Griffith/dp/0006863817?asin=0006863817&revisionId=&format=4&depth=1
    Perhaps one of the most important sections in the book is on “Appointments” because largely senior judges appoint other senior judges, and tend to appoint “chaps like us” (though chappesses do get a look in these days, though they too tend to have gone to expensive schools etc).
    An interesting exception though is Elish Angiolini who was Lord Advocate from 2006 to 2011. Wiki notes that “Every Lord Advocate between 1842 and 1967 was later appointed to the bench, either on demitting office or at a later date. Many lord advocates in fact nominated themselves for appointment as Lord President of the Court of Session or as Lord Justice Clerk.” To take some examples her successor Frank Mulholland (Lord Advocate when the Rangers case got started) did, and her predecessor Colin Boyd, whose Solicitor General she was, did. She didnt. This is her Wiki entry.
    As you can see, here spoon at best was silver gilt. Born in Govan, father a coal merchant, worked in M&S. Degree at Strathclyde joining the CPS as a trainee. Two things though stand out
    1. When McConnell appointed her, “Angiolini was the first solicitor, as opposed to advocate, to be appointed Solicitor General; this was not received favourably amongst all members of the legal profession
    2. Her husband was a hairdresser (becoming a house husband as her career accelerated).
    Now there may be reasons for this – perhaps she just didnt fancy it, and she has had an interesting career since then (including Chancellor at UWS, visiting Prof at Strathclyde Law School where she taught and developed a course of advocacy, Principal of St Hugh’s College, Oxford ). But she doesnt fit the template.
    Dorothy Bain, on the other hand doesnt fit it too well either – mother was a shorthand typist and her father a postman, took her legal degree at Aberdeen University. She did though have the wit to marry Lord Turnbull rather than a hairdresser!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My wife used to be a client of the same hairdresser Eilish Angiolini married. After he gave it up following their marriage, she and others patronised one of his assistants who set iup on her own. In the tonsorial world that is Kelvinbridge everone knows everyone else!


  2. As an afterthought, this is Lord Hope in Wiki
    Educated at Edinburgh Academy and Rugby School, thence to Cambridge, then returned to Scotland and studied at the Faculty of Law of the University of Edinburgh, graduating LL.B. in 1965. Admitted as an advocate in 1965 and became a Queen’s Counsel in 1978.
    This is Angiolini https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elish_Angiolini

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Elish certainly broke the mould. There should be more like her. Compassionate kind and caring. An exemplary career. Still continuing. Great family to all that know them. Down to earth, No pomp and circumstances there then.

    Women do not have equal rights. The Law needs to be changed to stop abuse, A long Inquiry, still going on.


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