One more for the pot of many jobs ? Angiolini named as Chancellor of UWS University of the West of Scotland (UWS) has announced the appointment of Dame Elish Angiolini DBE QC as its new Chancellor. Dame Elish, who will be formally installed as Chancellor of the University at a ceremony later this year, will represent the University at the highest level and hold formal powers to confer degrees, diplomas and other academic distinctions.
Dame Elish replaces Lord Smith of Kelvin Kt who has held the post of Chancellor of UWS since October 2003. Lord Smith, a highly respected figure in the Scottish business sector, steps down from this role at UWS this summer at the end of the current academic year. He has held a range of prominent posts in the commercial and financial arenas and is currently Chairman of the Weir Group, Scottish and Southern Energy, Green Investment Bank and the organising committee of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The appointment of Dame Elish as Chancellor was made by the University’s governing body, University Court at a meeting on 5 February 2013. This five year appointment will see Dame Elish acting as an ambassador for UWS and as part of this role she will confer awards at the University’s graduation ceremonies.
Dame Elish, who is Principal of St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford, is one of Scotland’s most senior lawyers and has extensive experience of public administrative, criminal and civil law as well as Public Inquiries and Fatal Accident Inquiries.
She is the former Lord Advocate of Scotland – the highest law officer in the Scottish legal system. Prior to this she was Solicitor General for Scotland. Dame Elish was the first woman and the first solicitor in the modern era to hold either position. In 2008 Dame Elish created another legal first when she and Frank Mulholland QC, the then Solicitor General, were admitted as members of the Faculty of Advocates.
As Solicitor General for Scotland (2001–06) and then as Lord Advocate (2006–11), Dame Elish was instrumental in reforming the operation of the justice system in Scotland, in particular making it more responsive to the victims of crime.
In addition, Dame Elish, who is renowned for her championing of equality and dignity in the justice system, supervised some of the most significant prosecutions in Scotland in the last decade, and acted as the Scottish Government’s legal advisor during a period of major change.
She was awarded the DBE for services to the administration of justice in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2011. In the same year, she was granted a Special Achievement Award by the International Association of Prosecutors.
Commenting on her appointment as Chancellor of the University, Dame Elish said: “UWS plays a key role in the economic, social and cultural development of Scotland and I am truly honoured to accept the position of Chancellor of the University.Universities perform a hugely important role in society and I very much look forward to being involved with the activities of UWS.”
Professor Seamus McDaid CBE, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of the West of Scotland, said: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dame Elish as the University’s new Chancellor. She has demonstrated a great capacity for achieving excellence throughout her professional career and, indeed, her work embodies many of the core values of this institution. She will be a first class ambassador for University of the West of Scotland.”
Commenting on the retiral of Lord Smith, Professor McDaid added: “Over the last ten years as Chancellor he has been unstinting in his support of UWS and on behalf of the entire University community I would like to thank him for his time at UWS and wish him continued success for the future.”
Richard Blackburn, Chair of University Court, said: “We are extremely pleased to appoint someone of Elish’s calibre to succeed Lord Smith of Kelvin. She is a great supporter of higher education and has shown throughout her career a commitment to making a significant contribution to society through her work.”
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Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has ties to Levy Mcrae. As details of the Hollie Greig case began to be reported in the wider press, it emerged the Scottish Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill has personal links to LEVY MCRAE, the law firm employed by the then Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini in legal action over the abuse case allegations. Mr MacAskill has made no comment on the fact he served his apprenticeship at Levy McRae and also worked at the firm for a considerable time during his years as a solicitor before he entered politics. The revelations of MacAskill’s links to Levy McRae, the same law firm who represented Steven Purcell, were reported by Scottish Law Reporter at the time, HERE