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lord justice clerk

lord justice clerk. Scottish legal post. Originally the lord justice clerk of Scotland was clerk and assessor to the Justiciar's Court. The court, usually presided over by peers, had professional lawyers as clerks. Gradually the post increased in importance and by the late 16th cent. the holder was always a member of the Privy Council. By the late 17th cent. he had become one of the judges in the court itself. Reforms in 1672 created the High Court of Judiciary, the central criminal court of Scotland. The lord justice clerk was usually working head of the court, although he ranked second to the lord justice-general. In the Court of Session he ranked equally with the other judges until the reorganization of 1808 when he was made president of the second division of that court. Today the lord justice clerk is the holder of the second highest judicial office in Scotland.

Richard A. Smith

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