Honorary Professor

Born and raised in Govan, Elish Angiolini studied law at the University of Strathclyde. Thereafter, Dame Elish joined the Procurator Fiscal Service and served as a Procurator-Depute in Airdrie (1984 – 1992). She was seconded to the Crown Office in Edinburgh before being appointed Senior Depute Procurator Fiscal, then Assistant Procurator Fiscal at Glasgow (1995-97). She returned to the Crown Office as Head of Policy, at a time when that department was preparing for devolution and key legislation such as the Human Rights Act (1998). She then served as Regional Procurator Fiscal for Grampian, the Highland and Islands, based in Aberdeen (2000-01).

Appointed the first female Solicitor General for Scotland in 2001, she was also the first Procurator Fiscal and the first solicitor (as against advocate) to hold the post. In 2006, she was appointed Lord Advocate, the head of Scotland’s prosecution service, the first woman in the 500-year history of that post. She was also unusual for having no political affiliation, in a job that is traditionally an appointment of the governing party. She served in this role until 2011.

In the Crown Office, she worked to improve the support offered to young or otherwise vulnerable victims and witnesses. As Lord Advocate she is seen as a moderniser, immediately announcing plans to speed-up justice and clear court congestion, including a scheme to quickly fine minor offenders and require them to pay compensation to victims.

Dame Elish became Principal of St. Hugh’s College of the University of Oxford in 2012. She was listed as one of Scotland’s most powerful women in 2004 and made a DBE in 2011. She has held a Visiting Professorship at the University of Strathclyde, an Honorary Chair at the University of Aberdeen and has been awarded honorary degrees from Glasgow Caledonian University, and the Universities of Strathclyde and Aberdeen.