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The Prosecution team and the judges

In pursuit of a verdict

On this page you'll find background information about the prosecution and the judges in the Lockerbie trial. Including contact addresses and other contact information at the end of each subject.

The Prosecution:
The prosecution team includes some of Scotland's top legal brains. The team has until recently been headed by Lord Hardie, Scotland's former Lord Advocate or top prosecutor. He had vast background experience and has represented British interests in a separate Lockerbie dispute with Libya before the World Court. Since February 2000, the leading position has ben taken over by Lord Hardie´s former Solicitor General Colin Boyd , the new Solicitor General Neil Davidson and Alastair Campbell. The team also includes Scottish advocates Jonathan Lake and Alan Turnbull.

  • The sudden resignation of Lord Hardie 16/02/00

    Colin Boyd, QCColin Boyd QC is now Scotlands Lord Advocate in the upcoming trial. Now named Lord Boyd, he was called to the Scottish Bar in 1983, he was an advocate depute from 1993 to 1995 and took silk in 1995. Mr Boyd is a legal associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute and contributed to a book, The Legal Aspects of Devolution, which was published just before the 1997 General Election. He is married with three children and lives in Edinburgh.

    For getting in touch with the prosecution BEFORE April 25, 2000:

    Colin Boyd, Lord Advocate (and other members of team)
    25 Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH 1 1 LA, Scotland, UK
    Phone: +44/ 131 247 2654

    For getting in touch with the prosecution AFTER April 25, 2000:

    Colin Boyd, Lord Advocate (and other members of team)
    Kamp van Zeist, Postbus 1990, NL-3700 BZ Zeist, The Netherlands
    Phone: +31/ 346 334 750

    The judges:
    4 Scottish high court judges have been appointed for the trial. The task of delivering verdicts, which can be by a majority, will lie with three of the judges, Lords Sutherland, Coulsfield and MacLean. The fourth, Lord Abernethy, will sit with his colleagues and can take part in their deliberations, but will not vote in any decision, either on such things as the admissibility of evidence or the verdicts. However, should one of the three judges die or fall ill, Lord Abernethy will be asked to take over a full role.

    Background info on judges:
    Lord Sutherland

  • LORD Sutherland (Ranald), 67, the presiding judge, was elevat. Lord Sutherland has been a Judge since 1985. He is a member of the 1st Division of the Inner House. He is a graduate of Edinburgh University (MA LLB) and was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates¹ in 1956. He served as an Advocate Depute² from 1962 to 1964 and from 1971 to 1977 and was Standing Junior³ to the Ministry of Defence from 1964 to 1969. Lord Sutherland was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1969. He was a member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board from 1977 until 1985.ed to the bench in 1985 and, next to Lord McCluskey, is the longest serving of Scotland’s current complement of 27 judges. In recent years, the majority of Lord Sutherland’s duties have been in appeal courts, which he often chairs. His seniority has been recognised in holding the post of Scottish representative to the International Association of Judges. The late Nicholas Fairbairn, QC, once said that Lord Sutherland was "a suave, curt, incisive silk (QC) with a taste for gin and a mind as sharp as his manner is glib his cigarettes are many and his words are few".

    Lord Coulsfield

  • LORD Coulsfield (John Cameron), 65, became a Judge in 1987 and now sits in the Second Division of the Inner House and in the Lands Valuation Appeal Court. He is a graduate of the Universities of Oxford (BA, Corpus Christi College) and Edinburgh (LLB) and was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1960. From 1960 to 1964 he lectured in Public Law at Edinburgh University. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1973 and served as an Advocate Depute² from 1977 to 1979. Lord Coulsfield was a Chairman of the Medical Appeals Tribunal for Scotland from 1985 to 1987 and was the Scottish judge on the Employment Appeal Tribunal from 1992 to 1996. Prior to his appointment to the Court of Session, he was a Judge in the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey. He is an editor of "Scottish Law and Practice Quarterly". Lord Coulsfield has been a judge for 12 years. In that time, he has heard a good number of headline-making cases. For example, he presided over the first trial in Scotland of a drug supplier who was charged with culpable homicide after the death of a user. Lord Coulsfield acquitted the man, holding he could not be said to have caused the death when the user had sought the supply of the drugs and had decided how much to take. However, the appeal court later overturned the judgment. Lord Coulsfield also chaired a committee which led to the creation of a specialised court in Scotland for commercial actions and was a "commercial judge" from 1996 to 1998.

    Lord MacLean

  • Lord MacLean (Ranald), 60, has often been irritated by media portrayals of judges being out of touch and aloof. In 1997, after seven years on the bench, he hit back in a speech and said: "I do not understand why we are so consistentl represented as remote, disinterested in ordinary folk, ignorant of everyday facts and insensitive." He added: "You cannot have practised successfully and widely at the Scottish bar without learning something about the general human condition. I may never have lived in the poorest areas of our major cities, but I believe that I have some insight into what they must be like." One of his most anxious cases, the first of its kind in Scotland, was in 1996 when he gave the go-ahead for a mentally handicapped woman to be sterilised. He said that removing the risk of the woman, 32, becoming pregnant was in her own best interests. A graduate of the Universities of Cambridge (BA, Clare College), Edinburgh (LLB) and Yale (LLM), Lord MacLean has been a Judge since 1990. He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1964 and appointed Queen's Counsel in 1977. He served as an Advocate Depute from 1972 to 1975 and was Home Advocate Depute² from 1979 to 1982. He has served on the Scottish Legal Aid Board, the Council on Tribunals and the Stewart Committee on Alternatives to Prosecution. Lord MacLean has been a member of the Parole Board for Scotland since 1998, a member of the Secretary of State for Scotland's Criminal Justice Forum since 1996, and the Chairman of the Governors of Fettes College, Edinburgh since 1996. From 1988 to 1996 he was Chairman of the Council of the Cockburn Association. In January 1999 he was appointed Chairman of a committee established by the Secretary of State for Scotland. Its remit is to review the sentencing and treatment of serious sexual and violent offenders including those with personality disorders.

    Lord Abernathy

  • LORD Abernethy (Alastair Cameron), 61, was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and joined the English bar before moving to the Scottish Faculty of Advocates, where he served as vice-dean for nine years and built up a strong reputation in the field of medical negligence. Lord Abernethy became a Judge in 1992. He is a graduate of Oxford University (Pembroke College, MA) and an Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College. He was called to the Bar (InnerTemple) in 1963 and in 1966 he was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates . He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1979. He was Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Advocates from 1983 to 1992. He was an Advocate Depute from 1972 to 1975 and served as Standing Junior Counsel to the Department of Energy (1976-79) and the Scottish Development Department (1978-79). He was a Legal Chairman of Pensions Appeal Tribunals for Scotland from 1979 to 1992 and President of the Tribunals from 1985 to 1992. Lord Abernethy is an active member of the International Bar Association. He was Chairman of the Association's Judges' Forum from 1994 to 1998. Since then he has been a council member of the Association's Section on Legal Practice and its Human Rights Institute. He has been President of the Scottish Medico-Legal Society since 1996 and is the author of "Medical Negligence: An Introduction" (1983).

    Contact info:
    The Scottish Justiciary Office is situated within the High Court of Justiciary, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh. The public offices are open Monday to Friday from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm. The head of the office is the Deputy Principal Clerk of Justiciary. He has ultimate responsibility for the administration of the office and for the programming in consultation with Crown Office, of the business of High Courts including Appeal Courts.
    telephone: (+44) 0131 240 6900
    e-mail address:

    Trial news update
    Latest update on what happened in the courtroom and outside. Who took the stand, what evidence was provided, who attended the trial and why. Updated on an everyday basis. 

    Special features
    An index of various handpicked articles, interviews or overviews on items related to the trial and the bombing of Pan Am 103. 

    Court schedules
    What will happen next ? Find all important timetables, dates and alerts to upcoming events at the courthouse in Zeist. 

    Legal issues
    For all those interested in the legal background of the Lockerbie trial. What legal procedure is being used ? Learn to analyze and understand what is going on and why - in understandable english. 

    Contact info
    For visitors, relatives, journalists and others interested in the trial of the century. How to get there, whom to talk to. Addresses, phone, fax and email. 

    Special items

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    The old, temporary Lockerbie Trial page
    If you can't wait to read about the trial, take a look at the old, provisionary trial website from the Pan Am 103/Lockerbie Crash page. It contains some background information, including the official indictment of the two Libyan suspects. 


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