Lady Elish Angiolini chaired the recent public inquiry into the Sarah Everard case

Date posted

4 July 2024


Scotland’s first female Lord Advocate, and the chair of the public inquiry into the Sarah Everard case, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Edinburgh Napier University (ENU).

Lady Elish Angiolini has been recognised for a career in criminal justice which has seen her hold a series of significant roles – and in particular for her support of victims’ rights.

After several years of working at the Crown Office, the Govan-born solicitor became the first woman to be appointed as the Regional Procurator Fiscal for Grampian and the Highlands and Islands, then the first non-political Solicitor General for Scotland.

Lady Angiolini was appointed Lord Advocate – Scotland’s most senior law officer – in 2006, remaining in post after the following year’s election and stepping down in 2011.Lady Elish Angiolini posing with her honorary doctorate

Since then she has overseen notable public investigations, such as reports into the cremation of babies at Mortonhall Crematorium, complaint handling by Police Scotland, and the Sarah Everard murder case – the latter of which published findings earlier this year.

She was presented with her honorary doctorate during a graduation ceremony for students from ENU’s Business School at the Usher Hall today.

Today’s award of Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University is the latest in a series of honours bestowed upon her, which also include Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to Justice, and the Most Ancient and Noble Order of the Thistle. 

Responding to her honorary doctorate, Lady Angiolini said: “I am very grateful to Edinburgh Napier for this wonderful honour.

“I have been fortunate to have had some very different, but fulfilling roles over many years, and each has presented a range of fascinating challenges.”

Presenting the degree during today’s ceremony, Professor Richard Whitecross, Head of Law at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “Elish’s legacy as Lord Advocate is noteworthy.

“She balanced a respect for the strengths of the criminal justice system and its independence with a strong commitment to modernisation.

“This award is in recognition of her major contribution to the Scottish criminal justice system, to the legal profession and to vulnerable victims across the United Kingdom.”