Lady Dorrian
Lady Dorrian Official Portrait.jpg
Official portrait, 2021
Lord Justice Clerk
Assumed office
13 April 2016
Appointed byElizabeth II
Preceded byLord Carloway
Senator of the College of Justice
Assumed office
Nominated byJack McConnell
As First Minister
MonarchElizabeth II
Personal details
Leeona June Dorrian

(1957-06-16) 16 June 1957 (age 64)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Alma materUniversity of Aberdeen
OccupationLord Justice Clerk

Leeona June Dorrian, Lady Dorrian QC (born 16 June 1957) is a Scottish advocate and judge who has served as the Lord Justice Clerk since 2016. She is the first woman to hold the position. She has been a Senator of the College of Justice since 2005, having served as a temporary judge for three years prior.

Early life

Dorrian was born in Edinburgh and educated at Cranley Girls' School in the city. She studied at the School of Law of the University of Aberdeen, graduating LL.B. in 1977, and was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1981.[1][2]

Early career

Dorrian served as Standing Junior Counsel to the Health and Safety Executive and Commission between 1987 and 1994, Advocate Depute between 1988 and 1991, and as Standing Junior to the Department of Energy between 1991 and 1994.[3] She was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1994, and called to the English Bar in 1991, at the Inner Temple. Between 1997 and 2001 she was a member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.[1][2]

College of Justice

Dorrian was appointed a Temporary Judge of the Court of Session in 2002, and in 2005 became a full-time Senator of the College of Justice, taking the judicial title, Lady Dorrian.[1][2] She was promoted to the Inner House in 2012.[4]

Lady Dorrian became a member of The Management Board of The Aberdeen Law Project in 2010.

Lord Justice Clerk

Lady Dorrian in 2016
Lady Dorrian in 2016

In April 2016, Lady Dorrian was appointed as Lord Justice Clerk, succeeding Lord Carloway who had been promoted to Lord President of the Court of Session.[3] She is the first woman to serve as Lord Justice Clerk,[5] and at the time of her appointment was one of 9 women out of 31 judges in Scotland.[4]

Lady Dorrian has been involved in the trial of former First Minister, Alex Salmond for sexual misconduct for which he was acquitted.[6][7] She also permitted the application for a ban on publication of the names of the complainers in that trial and a ban on the publication of any material that could identify any complainer.[8] Blogger and former British ambassador, Craig Murray, has since been jailed for eight months for providing information in his blog that may allow readers to identify some of the complainers by "jigsaw identification".[9] This incarceration, wherein Lady Dorrian delivered the "Opinion of the Court",[10] has caused some media attention.[9][11]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Biographies - The Hon Lady Dorrian". Scottish Court Service. Archived from the original on 31 August 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  2. ^ a b c "Appointment of new judges" (Press release). Scottish Executive. 2 February 2005. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Appointment of Lord Justice Clerk". Scottish Courts and Tribunals (Press release). 13 April 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b Brooks, Libby (14 April 2016). "First woman appointed to Scotland's second highest judicial post". The Guardian.
  5. ^ McArdle, Helen (13 April 2016). "Scotland appoints first female Lord Justice Clerk". The Herald. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Judge will not seek to 'direct' work of Salmond inquiry". BBC News. 16 February 2021. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Alex Salmond cleared of all sexual assault charges". BBC News. 23 March 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  8. ^ News, Scottish Legal. "Order preventing publication of identities of complainers in Salmond case varied by High Court". Scottish Legal News. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  9. ^ a b McKay, Ron (1 August 2021). "Blogger Craig Murray was clearly in contempt ... but perhaps the SNP will use case to restrict reporting in the future". The Herald. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  10. ^[bare URL PDF]
  11. ^ "Selective persecution of Craig Murray raises questions about justice system". The National. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
Legal offices Preceded byLord Carloway Lord Justice Clerk 2016–present Incumbent