Advertisement

Joanna Cherry in bid to radically change role of Scotland's top lawyer

Joanna Cherry wants MSPs to have a say in the role of Lord Advocate
Joanna Cherry wants MSPs to have a say in the role of Lord Advocate

JOANNA Cherry has launched a bid to give Holyrood the power to radically alter the role of Scotland’s top lawyer.

The SNP MP is seeking to give MSPs a say in the role of the Lord Advocate, who as well as being the Scottish Government’s top law officer is also in charge of prosecutions.

There are concerns about both roles being filled by one person and the Scottish Government has commissioned Malcolm McMillan, a former chief executive of the Scottish Law Commission, to conduct research into splitting up the position.

But Holyrood lacks the power to split the functions of the Lord Advocate.

The SNP MP has been given permission to introduce a bill in the Commons to make the change.

READ MORE: Pro-ceasefire protest greets Keir Starmer as he arrives into Glasgow

Cherry said: “The role and function of Scotland’s chief law officer is reserved to Westminster.

“The straitjacket of the Scotland Act has prevented the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government from modernising the post, as it might have done since 1999, by splitting the dual roles of providing independent legal advice to the Government of the day and that of head of the prosecution service in Scotland.

“All major political parties in Scotland have called for a review of the role of the Lord Advocate and I trust that my bill will have cross party backing when it comes before the Commons.”

The bill will be heard on January 10.