Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC appointed to post on tropical island



If Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC (pictured) was looking for variety and a change of scenery in her job, she has certainly found it.

Sheriff Drummond, based in Tayside, Central and Fife, will be adding to her shrieval duties with her new appointment as Justice of Appeal in the Court of Appeal in the Territories of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

The jurisdiction is familiar territory as she previously worked on Ascension Island and on St Helena as Crown Counsel.

At 4,000 kilometres east of Rio de Janeiro, St Helena is a tropical island of volcanic origin and was uninhabited when it was discovered by the Portuguese in 1502.

It is one of the world’s most remote islands which is no doubt why it was chosen by the British as an ideal spot for Napoleon to spend his enforced retirement after the battle of Waterloo.

Until now it has only been accessible by sea from Ascension or Cape Town, but an airport is under construction and is scheduled to open in February 2016.

The island has a population of about 4,200 and enjoys the status of a British Overseas Territory.

Acting governor Sean Burns has appointed Sheriff Drummond along with three English judges, one of whom acts as President of the Court.

Although St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha are three separate territories, the same Supreme Court and Court of Appeal preside over all three.

During her previous stint in the South Atlantic, Sheriff Drummond was responsible for organising a Faculty of Advocates’ MiniTrial on Ascension Island.

She adapted two Scots law cases with references to local features and places on Ascension – an assault to severe injury involving a knife and possession of Ecstasy with intent to supply.

Sheriff Drummond, who called to the bar in 1998 and took silk in 2011, said: “I am delighted to be appointed as Justice of the St Helena Court of Appeal.

“To date the court has dealt with only a very few cases.

“The papers are generally reviewed in the UK and travel to St Helena will not usually be necessary although it is still a possibility.

“The few cases there are will no doubt provide a contrast with my cases in Dundee.”

There is another previous Faculty of Advocates link with St Helena.

Ten years ago, Edgar Prais QC, was instructed to defend a teenager accused of murder following a bar brawl, and he flew from England to Ascension Island, then took the mail ship for the two-day journey to St Helena – staying at the house where Napoleon spent his last years in exile.