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Kevin Dunion OBE
Kevin Dunion OBE

Kevin Harry Dunion OBE (born 20 December 1955) is the Convener of the Standards Commission for Scotland and was the first Scottish Information Commissioner 2003−2012. He is an Honorary Professor in the University of Dundee School of Law and a member of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission. He was formerly Rector of the University of St Andrews 2008−11.

Early life

Dunion was born in Bridge of Allan.[1] His father Harry became a college lecturer and the family moved to Alloa and then Glenrothes.[2][3] He attended St Andrew's High School in Kirkcaldy.[4] He was educated at the University of St Andrews (MA (Hons) Modern History 1978) and at the University of Edinburgh (MSc (Dist) African Studies 1991).


Dunion spent periods in the civil service and university administration. He was Editor of the pro-devolution magazine Radical Scotland.[5] He joined Oxfam as Campaigns Manager and then took up the post of Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland. From 1996 to 2000 he also served as Chairman of Friends of the Earth International, heading delegations to the United Nations and European Commission.

Dunion was for many years a notable proponent for freedom of information, and gave evidence to the Justice Committee scrutinising the passage of the Bill through the Scottish Parliament. He wrote the book Troublemakers – The Struggle For Environmental Justice In Scotland.[6][7]

Information Commissioner

Dunion was appointed as the first Scottish Information Commissioner in February 2003. He was reappointed in 2008.[8] Towards the end of his second term he proposed extra powers that he thought that the next Commissioner would need.[9] He left office on 23 February 2012 after two terms - a total of nine years in office, during which time he handled some 1,500 cases.[10][11]

Academic bodies and other roles

He was elected Lord Rector of the University of St Andrews in October 2008.[1] He was installed on 3 March 2009.[2] His term ran until 2011.

In 2012 Dunion was appointed Honorary Professor in the University of Dundee School of Law.[12] He is executive director of their Freedom of Information Centre.[13] In 2012 he was appointed by the President of the World Bank as a member of the bank's Access to Information Appeals Board.[14]

In April 2013 he was appointed as a non-lawyer member of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.[11]

Standards Commission

He became a member of the Standards Commission for Scotland on 1 September 2015.[15] In November 2016 it was announced that he would become the Convener of the Commission, taking up the position on 1 February 2017.[16]

Awards and honours

In 2000 he was awarded an OBE for his work with Friends of the Earth.

In 2011 he was awarded an honorary degree, LLD, by the University of St Andrews.[17]

Personal life

Dunion is married to Linda Malloch, who was formerly married to Iain Gray, the former leader of the Labour Group in the Scottish Parliament.[18]


  1. ^ a b "Commissioner sweeps to victory as new rector of St Andrews University". Fife Today. 7 November 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Commissioner rides into role as new rector". Fife Today. 5 March 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Harry Dunion". The Scotsman. 11 May 2005. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Celebrating a year of firsts at St Andrew's High". Fife Today. 5 July 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  5. ^ Johnstone, Anne (24 April 2003). "Crossing the great divide". The Herald. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  6. ^ Mittler, Daniel (Autumn 2004). "Review: Environmental Justice in Scotland". Scottish Affairs. 49 (First Series) (1): 134–137. doi:10.3366/scot.2004.0060.
  7. ^ "Keeping informed: Kevin Dunion". Holyrood. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Commissioner reappointed" (Press release). Scottish Information Commissioner. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  9. ^ Dinwoodie, Robbie (10 January 2012). "Commissioner leaves with call for extra powers". The Herald. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  10. ^ Rose, Gareth (8 January 2012). "Scots 'Behind' on Freedom of Information". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Kevin Dunion joins Complaints Commission". The Journal. Law Society of Scotland. 17 April 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  12. ^ The Scottish Information Commissioner's website; accessed 29 July 2014.
  13. ^ "Centre for Freedom of Information". University of Dundee. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  14. ^ "AI Appeals Board". World Bank Group. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  15. ^ "New Convener appointed" (Press release). Standards Commission for Scotland. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  16. ^ Hutcheon, Paul (27 November 2016). "Former FOI tsar to head standards watchdog". The Sunday Herald. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  17. ^ "University honour for Dunion". Fife Today. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  18. ^ Bowditch, Gillian (3 January 2010). "Ecosse interview: Kevin Dunion". Sunday Times Scotland. London, UK. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
Government offices
New office Scottish Information Commissioner
2003 — 2012
Succeeded by
Rosemary Agnew
Academic offices
Preceded by
Simon Pepper
Rector of the University of St Andrews
Succeeded by
Alistair Moffat