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Lord Advocate - Biography

Dorothy Bain QC was appointed Lord Advocate in June 2021.

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain QC

Dorothy has extensive experience in both civil and criminal law. She qualified at the University of Aberdeen and began her career as an Advocate in 1994, taking silk in 2007. She has been instructed in cases at all levels, including the Court of Session (Inner & Outer House), Court of Criminal Appeal, High Court of Justiciary, United Kingdom Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.From 2002 to 2011 Dorothy served as an Advocate Depute in Crown Office. This culminated in her appointment as the Principal Advocate Depute in 2009; the first woman to be appointed to this post. As Principal Advocate Depute, Dorothy was Scotland’s most senior prosecutor, conducting many complex and high profile criminal prosecutions and appeals. In 2008, Dorothy reported on the prosecution of Sexual Crime in Scotland, which in turn resulted in the creation of the National Sex Crimes Unit.


The Lord Advocate is the senior Scottish Law Officer. They are head of the systems for the prosecution of crime and investigation of deaths in Scotland; and exercises those functions independently of any other person. All prosecutions on indictment run in the Lord Advocate’s name. The Lord Advocate also has a number of statutory functions, including in relation to extradition and mutual legal assistance with other jurisdictions.