Joanna Cherry QC becomes SNP justice spokesperson



Joanna Cherry QC
Joanna Cherry QC

Joanna Cherry QC, a member of the Faculty of Advocates, has been appointed as the Scottish National Party (SNP)’s justice and home affairs spokesperson in Westminster.

The lawyer, a native of Edinburgh and a University of Edinburgh graduate, said she was “delighted” to speak out on issues of justice for the 56-member SNP bloc in the House of Commons.

At the general election last week, Cherry overturned a majority of more than 8,000 voters to claim the Edinburgh South West seat for the SNP.

The constituency’s former MP, Labour’s Alistair Darling, was also a member of Faculty and chose to stand down at the election.

Joanna Cherry has previously held the public offices of standing junior counsel to the Scottish government and advocate depute, and was one of the first specialist sex crimes prosecutors in the Crown Office’s national sex crimes unit.

While an advocate depute, she appeared as lead counsel for the Lord Advocate on a number of occasions, including twice before the Supreme Court and three times before full benches of the High Court of Justiciary.

Legal 500 ranks Joanna Cherry as one of the leading QCs in Scotland.

A member of the SNP since 2008, Joanna Cherry gained profile as a political activist during the independence referendum campaign, in which she co-founded and convened the Lawyers for Yes group.

The organisation persuaded nearly 200 lawyers to publicly declare support for independence.

The SNP has already clashed with the new Conservative administration over plans to scrap the Human Rights Act across the UK, and has continued its calls for the devolution of Scottish court fines revenue.

Speaking after her appointment, Joanna Cherry said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been appointed as Justice and Home Affairs spokesperson.

“Now more than ever it is imperative that Scotland’s voice is heard in Westminster. This includes robustly opposing any attempt by the UK Government to repeal the Human Rights Act or withdraw from the ECHR.”