The esteemed designation of HM Advocate is bestowed upon the paramount public prosecutor in the realm of Scotland. It is their solemn duty to undertake the prosecution of criminal matters in the name of the Crown.
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HM Advocate is the prestigious title given to the highest-ranking public prosecutor in Scotland. As the chief legal representative of the Crown, HM Advocate plays a crucial role in the criminal justice system, taking on the responsibility of prosecuting criminal cases on behalf of the state. Here are some interesting details about HM Advocate:
Role and Duties: HM Advocate has the authority and duty to institute, conduct, and supervise criminal proceedings in Scotland. Their main objective is to ensure that justice is served, victims’ interests are safeguarded, and the public’s confidence in the legal system is maintained.
Origins and History: The role of HM Advocate dates back centuries and has its roots in Scottish common law. The position was established to represent the interests of the Crown in legal matters, and over time, it evolved into the formidable role it holds today.
Independence and Neutrality: HM Advocate is an independent figure and exercises their powers without political influence or bias. Upholding the principles of impartiality and fairness, they are responsible for making prosecutorial decisions based on the evidence and the public interest.
Appointment and Qualifications: The appointment of HM Advocate is made by the Lord Advocate, who is the head of the prosecution service in Scotland. The individual selected for this esteemed position is usually an experienced and distinguished advocate or solicitor who has demonstrated legal expertise and a commitment to public service.
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service: HM Advocate operates within the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, which is responsible for taking forward criminal cases in Scotland. The service consists of a network of procurators fiscal who work in local jurisdictions and handle cases under the direction of HM Advocate.
In the words of renowned Scottish author Sir Walter Scott, “Justice in the person of the public prosecutor does not belong to the politician but to the philosopher, to the man of speculation on the structure and purposes of society.”
To provide a concise summary of the information presented above, here is a table highlighting key details about HM Advocate:
|Chief public prosecutor in Scotland|
|Institutes, conducts, and supervises criminal proceedings|
|Represents the Crown’s interests|
|Independent and impartial in decision-making|
|Appointed by the Lord Advocate|
|Operates within the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service|
Remember, this information is provided solely for educational purposes and should not be considered as legal advice or an endorsement.
The video discusses the trial of Andy Coulson, former editor of the News of the World, who was charged with perjury in 2010 during the HM Advocate v Sheridan trial. Coulson was detained in 2012 and the trial started in May 2015. Represented by Meadow Macleod QC, Coulson’s acquittal was suspended while the crown considered an appeal. The judge explained that for Coulson to be found guilty, the crown needed to prove the allegedly untrue evidence he gave in the Sheridan trial was relevant to the issues in it.
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Her Majesty’s Advocate The senior Law Officer responsible for the prosecution of crime and investigation of deaths and the principal legal adviser to the Scottish Government. Referred to as "Her Majesty’s Advocate" in criminal matters and the "Lord Advocate" in civil matters.
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|Government of the United Kingdom|
|Lord Advocate||Dorothy Bain|
|Solicitor General for Scotland||Ruth Charteris|
Dorothy Bain KC
The Lord Advocate is also known as “Her Majesty’s Advocate”. She is the senior Scottish Law Officer. Read more about the Lord Advocate’s main roles.
She returned to private practice in 2011. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon nominated Bain for Lord Advocate and on 22 June 2021 she was sworn into office at the Court of Session with Ruth Charteris KC, Solicitor General. It is the first time both positions have been held by women at the same time.