Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Lord Advocate Definition:

Scottish law: head of public prosecutions and the investigation of deaths.

Related Terms: Procurator Fiscal, Advocate

flag of ScotlandSenior legal advisers to the government of Scotland, similar in some regards to a Minister of Justice, Solicitor General or Attorney General in other jurisdictions.

The Lord Advocate is the senior officer and manager of the network of procurators fiscal in Scotland. As such, he or she is head of the systems of criminal prosecution and the investigation of deaths. In this role the Lord Advocate acts independently of the executive branch of the government of Scotland.

The Lord Advocate also acts as the headquarters of legal drafters responsible for drafting proposed legislation as may affect Scotland.

The Lord Advocate is a political appointment and changes with the Government of the day. He or she is a Minister in the Scottish Executive but not a member of the Cabinet.


  • Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Services, History of the Office of Lord Advocate, available on the Internet at as of April 4, 2011 at www.copfs.gov.uk/News/Historical/HistOffLordAdv
  • Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Services website (as of April 4, 2011): www.copfs.gov.uk
  • Law Society of Scotland, Glossary: Scottish Legal Terms, Latin Maxims and European Community Legal Terms (Edinburgh: Butterworths, 1992), page 50.

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