Law officers quit

Scotland’s lord advocate and solicitor general resign

Lord Wolffe: apologised

Scotland’s top law officers are stepping down following recent controversy over their dual role.

Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC and Solicitor General, Alison Di Rollo QC, have both announced their intention to leave office when replacements have been appointed.

The lord advocate is the head of Scotland’s prosecution body and is the principal legal adviser to the Scottish government. The solicitor general is his deputy.

In England and Wales, there is an attorney general who gives legal advice to the UK government, as well as a director of public prosecutions.

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In February, former first minister Alex Salmond said Mr Wolffe should resign over his role in the Scottish government’s handling of harassment complaints against him.

Mr Wolffe denied any political influence relating to Mr Salmond’s criminal prosecution. However, there were calls for the roles of prosecutor and adviser to be separated.

Mr Wolffe made a public apology over the wrongful prosecution of two men following a fraud investigation relating to the sale of Rangers.

He was not the Lord Advocate at the time of the initial prosecutions of David Whitehouse and Paul Clark.

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