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Judicial Appointments, Transfers and Retirement
Jan 19, 2023
His Majesty the King, on the recommendation of the First Minister, has appointed Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull as a Senator of the College of Justice. Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull will take up post on 17 May 2023.
As advised in our article of 16 August 2022, Sheriff Principal Aisha Anwar, Sheriff Principal of South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway will transfer to the Sheriffdom of Glasgow and Strathkelvin on 17 May 2023. The Lord President has authorised Sheriff Principal Anwar to perform the functions of Sheriff Principal of South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway until 11 June 2023.
Sheriff Principal Marysia Lewis will retire on 31 July 2023.
His Majesty the King, on the recommendation of the First Minister, has appointed Sheriff Sean Murphy KC as Sheriff Principal of the Sheriffdom of North Strathclyde, Ms Catherine (Kate) Dowdalls KC as Sheriff Principal of the Sheriffdom of South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway and Sheriff Gillian Wade KC as Sheriff Principal of Tayside, Central and Fife.
- Sheriff Sean Murphy KC took up appointment as Sheriff Principal on 28 December 2022.
- Ms Catherine (Kate) Dowdalls KC will take up appointment as Sheriff Principal from 12 June 2023.
- Sheriff Gillian Wade KC will take up appointment as Sheriff Principal from 1 August 2023.
Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde. He practiced as a solicitor, becoming a partner in MacRoberts in 1997, specialising in commercial and construction disputes. He was appointed as a part-time sheriff in 2011; a sheriff in 2014; and as sheriff principal of Glasgow & Strathkelvin in 2016.
He was appointed as the Vice President of the Sheriff Appeal Court in May 2022. He is currently a member of the board of the Scottish Courts & Tribunal Service, and a member of the Scottish Sentencing Council.
Sheriff Murphy KC studied at St Andrews and Strathclyde Universities. After training as a solicitor with Ross Harper and Murphy, he called to the Bar in 1992. An advocate depute 1998-2001, he served as standing junior to the Scottish Executive 2001-03. Appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2003, he was a senior advocate depute 2003-07.
His first case was defending a woman at Glasgow District Court who was accused of breaching the peace on Guy Fawkes night in 1990 and in his last major appearance he argued that an Act of the Scottish Parliament was ECHR compatible before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 2007.
He became a resident sheriff in Glasgow in 2007 and a temporary judge in 2008 before joining the Sheriff Appeal Court in 2015. In June 2022 he was appointed Temporary Sheriff Principal of North Strathclyde.
Ms Catherine (Kate) Dowdalls KC graduated from the University of Strathclyde (LLB Hons, Dip LP) in 1984. She then completed her traineeship and worked in private practice in Lanarkshire, Glasgow and Stirling, becoming a partner in a Stirling firm in 1991. She was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 2000 and took silk in 2013.
She specialised in family law, litigating in the Sheriff Court, Sheriff Appeal Court, Court of Session and UK Supreme Court. She has also represented parties in fatal accident inquiries and a core participant in the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.
Since 2018 she has been a Scottish Law Commissioner, leading the Aspects of family law project.
Sheriff Wade KC graduated from the University of Glasgow (LLB Hons) in 1987 and was admitted as a solicitor in 1989. She qualified in English law, becoming a partner in firms in Glasgow and London with a particular interest in media law and defamation.
She was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1998 and held the following appointments:- Legal Convenor of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland 2004; Advocate Depute 2008–2014, Head of the National Sexual Crimes Unit from 2011-2013. She took silk in 2013. She was appointed full time sheriff in Tayside Central and Fife in 2015, being a resident sheriff in Perth since 2016.
In 2018 she was appointed a temporary judge of the Court of Session, regularly presiding over High Court trials. In 2022 she was appointed to the Sheriff Appeal Court. She is a designated commercial sheriff and holds positions as Chair, Relationships Scotland Tayside and Fife, a third sector charity supporting families in conflict; Sheriff member, Criminal Courts Rules Council, and Vice President of the Sheriffs and Summary Sheriffs Association.