Exclusive: Frank Mulholland appointed temporary judge in advance of installation as Senator

Scottish Legal News has learned that former Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC has been appointed a temporary judge in advance of being installed as a Senator of the College of Justice.

In response to the question of why Judge Mulholland was appointed before his formal installation, a spokesperson for the Judicial Office for Scotland told SLN: “In consequence of the appointment of Lady Smith as chair to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, the Lord President considered it necessary to ask the Scottish ministers to make an appointment of a temporary judge, in accordance with his statutory responsibility for making and maintaining arrangements for securing the efficient disposal of business in the Scottish courts.

“Having consulted the Lord President, the Scottish ministers appointed Frank Mulholland QC to act as a temporary judge of the Court of Session from 1 September 2016.”

On the issue of whether Judge Mulholland can hear criminal cases in which he himself was involved as Lord Advocate or civil cases involving the Scottish government, the spokesperson added: “Judge Mulholland will not hear any criminal case in which, by reason of his previous role as Lord Advocate and head of the prosecution service, he would require to recuse himself; nor any civil case involving the Scottish government which, given his former role as the Scottish government’s principal legal adviser, he would again need to recuse himself.

“The requirement for Judge Mulholland to recuse himself will, of course, diminish over time.”

Judge Mulholland will be officially installed as a Senator of the College of Justice following the retiral of Lord Stewart later this year.