|Assumed office |
22 June 2021
|First Minister||Nicola Sturgeon|
|Solicitor General||Ruth Charteris QC|
|Preceded by||James Wolffe|
|Principal Advocate Depute|
June 2009 – July 2011
|Alma mater||University of Aberdeen|
Dorothy Ruth Bain QC (born 1964) is a Scottish advocate who has served as Lord Advocate since 2021. She previously served as the Principal Advocate Depute from 2009 to 2011, becoming the first and highest-ranking woman to hold the prosecutorial position in Scotland.
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Bain attended the University of Aberdeen School of Law, graduating with an LLB and a Diploma in Legal Practice. In 1994, she became an advocate and in 2007 she was appointed to the Queen's Counsel. Bain served as an Advocate Depute in the Crown Office from 2002 to 2011 and was appointed the first female Principal Advocate Depute from 2009 to 2011. In 2008, she was commissioned to report on the prosecution of sex crimes in Scotland, the outcome of which led to the formation of Scotland's National Sex Crimes Unit in 2009. 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 QC, Solicitor General. It is the first time both positions have been held by women at the same time.
Dorothy Ruth Bain was born in 1964 in Edinburgh, Scotland. One of five children, Bain's mother was a shorthand typist and her father was a postman. She attended the University of Aberdeen, where her older sister, Helen, was studying medicine and then her younger sister, Elizabeth, would later study psychology. They were the first generation in her family to attend university. She earned an LLB degree and a Diploma in Legal Practice.
Completing her traineeship TF Reid & Donaldson, a law firm in Paisley, Bain was still unsure of where she wanted to take her legal career. After working for Dundas & Wilson, she began her career as an advocate in 1994.
From 2002 to 2011 she served as an Advocate Depute working within the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. In 2008, she was commissioned by the Lord Advocate and Solicitor General to report on and make recommendations on the prosecution of sex crimes in Scotland, the outcome of which led to the formation of Scotland's National Sexual Crimes Unit.
In 2009, she became the first and highest-ranking female to hold the prosecutorial position in Scotland, as Principal Advocate Depute. She became known for her prosecution of high-profile cases such as the serial killer Peter Tobin, as well the prosecution of four members of a drug gang for murder, and a wide-ranging 2009 child pornography case.
Bain has been instructed in cases at all levels, including the Court of Session, Court of Criminal Appeal, High Court of Justiciary, United Kingdom Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.
Bain returned to private practice in 2011. She represented the family of a victim of the 2014 Glasgow bin lorry crash. She also represented the petitioner in a petition to the Nobile Officium of the High Court of Justiciary which held that where an accused person in criminal proceedings seeks to admit evidence of sexual history, the complainer must be told of the content of the application; invited to comment on the accuracy of any allegations within it; and be asked to state any objections which they might have to the granting of the application.
On 16 June 2021, it was announced that Bain would be nominated by Nicola Sturgeon, subject to the approval of the Scottish Parliament, to take up office as Lord Advocate, succeeding James Wolffe. Her appointment as Lord Advocate was approved by the Scottish Parliament on 17 June 2021. She was sworn into office at the Court of Session on 22 June 2021.
Bain was appointed to the Privy Council on 10 November 2021.
Bain has promised to act "independently" and has stated she will assist the First Minister over a review of the functions of Lord Advocate. She is likely to defend the Scottish Parliament over the Scottish Government's second Scottish independence referendum proposal.