Andrew Hardie, Baron Hardie

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The Lord Hardie

Senator of the College of Justice
In office
March 2000 – 31 December 2012
Nominated byDonald Dewar
As First Minister
MonarchElizabeth II
Lord Advocate
In office
Preceded byLord Mackay of Drumadoon
Succeeded byLord Boyd of Duncansby
Personal details
Andrew Rutherford Hardie

(1946-01-08) 8 January 1946 (age 74)
Political partyLabour
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh

Andrew Rutherford Hardie, Baron Hardie, PC, QC (born 8 January 1946) is a former Senator of the College of Justice, a judge of the Supreme Courts of Scotland, and a former Lord Advocate, the country's senior Law Officer. He led the prosecution team in the preparation of the original Lockerbie bombing trial, but resigned as Lord Advocate shortly before the trial commenced in 2000.

Early life[edit]

Born in Alloa,[1] Hardie was educated at St Modan's High School, Stirling and at the University of Edinburgh (M.A., LL.B.).[2] He was admitted as a solicitor in 1971 and to the Faculty of Advocates in 1973.[1] He served as an Advocate Depute from 1979 to 1983, and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1985.[2] He was Treasurer of the Faculty of Advocates from 1989 until he was elected Dean of the Faculty from 1994 to 1997. From 1991 to 1994 he sat as a part-time Chairman of the Medical Appeals Tribunal.

Lord Advocate[edit]

Following Labour's 1997 election victory, Hardie was appointed Lord Advocate,[3] and created a life peer, as Baron Hardie, of Blackford in the City of Edinburgh,[4] and appointed to the Privy Council. As well as serving as the country's top prosecutor, he played an active role in the House of Lords, including acting as a Government spokesman during the passage of the Scotland Act 1998. Under the terms of this Act, the Lord Advocate became a member of the new Scottish Executive, with his duties to the UK Government passing to the newly created office of Advocate General for Scotland. The first Scottish Parliament was elected in 1999, at which time Hardie became a member of the Scottish Executive.[5]

Lockerbie trial[edit]

On Wednesday 21 December 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York was blown up over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing two hundred and seventy people. In 1991, two Libyan men were indicted for the bombing, but their trial did not begin until May 2000. The trial itself was held in a special sitting of the High Court of Justiciary, sitting as the Scottish Court in the Netherlands, at Camp Zeist, a former US Air Force base in Utrecht, Netherlands. Hardie took over as Lord Advocate shortly before arrangements for the trial were agreed, and it was intended he would lead the prosecution team, however he resigned as Lord Advocate in March 2000, two months before the trial was scheduled to begin,[6][7] and was forced to defend himself against accusations of having 'abandoned' the victims' families.[8][9] He was succeeded as Lord Advocate by the Solicitor General, Colin Boyd.

The Bench[edit]

Lord Hardie was appointed a Judge of the Court of Session and High Court of Justiciary in March 2000.[10] In 2008, a review of judicial performance named him as "Scotland's worst judge".[11][12] The figures showed that eighty-four sentences imposed by Hardie had been overturned on appeal, all having been reduced, while two convictions were overturned, although both these convictions arose from the one case, in which it was found Hardie had misdirected the jury on a point of law.[11]

Hardie was appointed to the Inner House of the Court of Session in 2010 and retired on 31 December 2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Biographies -The Right Hon Lord Hardie". Scottish Court Service. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
  2. ^ a b "The Rt Hon Lord Hardie QC The Lord Advocate". Scottish Executive. 17 May 1999. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
  3. ^ "No. 54773". The London Gazette. 23 May 1997. p. 6097.
  4. ^ "No. 54776". The London Gazette. 27 May 1997. p. 6183.
  5. ^ "Lord Hardie and Mr Colin Boyd appointed Law Officers". Scottish Executive. 17 May 1999. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
  6. ^ "Top law officer quits". BBC News Online. 16 February 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
  7. ^ "Lockerbie Trial Prosecution Chief resigns as Lord Advocate only 12 weeks before start of trial". Plane Truth. 16 February 2000. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  8. ^ Babbington, Andrea (18 February 2000). ""I did not abandon Lockerbie relatives": Lord Hardie". The Independent. London. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
  9. ^ "Hardie defends decision to go". BBC News. 17 February 2000. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
  10. ^ "Lord Hardie appointed a Senator of the College of Justice". Scottish Executive. 17 February 2000. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
  11. ^ a b MacAskill, Mark; Belgutay, Julia (6 July 2008). "Lord Hardie named as 'Scotland's worst judge'". The Times. London. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
  12. ^ "Lord Hardie is top of judges' list for sentence challenges". The Scotsman. 7 July 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Lord Mackay of Drumadoon
Lord Advocate
Succeeded by
Colin Boyd
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Lord Simon of Highbury
Baron Hardie
Followed by
The Lord Jopling