Lord Justice Clerk

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The Lord Justice Clerk is the second most senior judge in Scotland, after the Lord President of the Court of Session.

The holder has the title in both the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary and, as President of the Second Division of the Inner House, is in charge of the Second Division of Judges of the Inner House of the Court of Session. The office is one of the Great Officers of State of Scotland.


Originally clericus justiciarie or Clerk to the Court of Justiciary, the counterpart in the criminal courts of the Lord Clerk Register, the status of the office increased over time and the Justice-Clerk came to claim a seat on the Bench by practice and custom. This was recognised by the Privy Council of Scotland in 1663 and the Lord Justice-Clerk became the effective head of the reformed High Court of Justiciary in 1672 when the court was reconstituted.

The Lord Justice Clerk now rarely presides at criminal trials in the High Court, with most of his time being spent dealing with civil and criminal appeals.


partial list


  1. The Edinburgh Gazette: no. 15820. p. 305. 13 June 1941. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  2. The Edinburgh Gazette: no. 16416. p. 79. 28 February 1947. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  3. The Edinburgh Gazette: no. 16481. p. 427. 14 October 1947. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  4. The Edinburgh Gazette: no. 18072. p. 583. 25 September 1962. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Scottish Judicial Appointments" (Press release). Number10.gov.uk. 13 November 2001. Archived from the original on 17 January 2004. Retrieved 15 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Appointment of Lord Justice Clerk" (Press release). The Scottish Government. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • For listings to 1637 (may be wanting) refer to The Staggering State of the Scots' Statesmen, by Sir John Scot of Scotstarvet, Director of Chancery, Edinburgh, 1754, p.183.