David Hope, Baron Hope of Craighead

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The Lord Hope of Craighead
Convenor of the Crossbench Peers
In office
28 September 2015 – September 2019
Preceded byThe Lord Laming
Succeeded byThe Lord Judge
Deputy President of the
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
In office
1 October 2009 – 26 June 2013
Nominated byJack Straw
Appointed byElizabeth II
PresidentThe Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers
Preceded byPosition created
Succeeded byThe Baroness Hale of Richmond
Second Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
In office
21 April 2009 – 1 October 2009
Preceded byThe Lord Hoffmann
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
In office
1 October 1996 – 1 October 2009
Preceded byThe Lord Keith of Kinkel
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Lord Justice General
Lord President of the Court of Session
In office
Preceded byThe Lord Emslie
Succeeded byThe Lord Rodger of Earlsferry
Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde
In office
DeputySir Jim McDonald
Succeeded byThe Lord Smith of Kelvin
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
28 February 1995
Life Peerage
Personal details
James Arthur David Hope

(1938-06-27) 27 June 1938 (age 85)
Political partyCrossbencher
SpouseKatharine Mary Kerr
Alma materSt John's College, Cambridge;
University of Edinburgh
Military service
Branch/serviceBritish Army
Years of service1957–59
UnitSeaforth Highlanders

James Arthur David Hope, Baron Hope of Craighead, KT, PC, FRSE (born 27 June 1938) is a retired Scottish judge who served as the Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General, Scotland's most senior judge, and later as first Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom from 2009 until his retirement in 2013, having previously been the Second Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary. He served as Convenor of the Crossbench peers in the House of Lords from 2015 to 2019.[1]

Early life[edit]

A descendant of Charles Hope, Lord Granton, Lord President of the Court of Session from 1811 to 1841 through his third son,[2] David Hope was born on 27 June 1938 to Edinburgh lawyer Arthur Henry Cecil Hope, OBE, WS and Muriel Ann Neilson Hope (née Collie),[3] and educated at Edinburgh Academy and Rugby School. He completed National Service as an officer with the Seaforth Highlanders, between 1957 and 1959, where he reached the rank lieutenant.[3][4][5] In 1959 he commenced his studies as an Open Scholar at St John's College, Cambridge where he read Classics. He graduated with a B.A. degree in 1962. He then returned to Scotland and studied at the Faculty of Law of the University of Edinburgh, graduating LL.B. in 1965.[3]

In 1966, Hope married Katharine Mary Kerr, daughter of solicitor Mark Kerr WS, with whom he has twin sons and a daughter.[3]

Hope was admitted as an advocate in 1965 and became a Queen's Counsel in 1978.[6] He served as Standing Junior Counsel in Scotland to the Board of the Inland Revenue from 1974 to 1978, and as an Advocate Depute from 1978 to 1982, prosecuting cases on behalf of the Crown. Between 1985 and 1986, he was Chairman of the Medical Appeal Tribunal and the Pensions Appeal Tribunal, and from 1986 to 1989 was Dean of the Faculty of Advocates.

The Bench and later public life[edit]

In 1989, Hope became a Senator of the College of Justice, taking the judicial title Lord Hope, and was appointed directly to the offices of Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General, Scotland's highest judge. He was made a Privy Counsellor at this time, and was awarded a Life peerage in the 1995 New Year Honours,[7] his title being gazetted as Baron Hope of Craighead, of Bamff in the District of Perth and Kinross on 28 February 1995.[8] In 1996, The Lord Hope of Craighead retired as Lord President to become a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary,[9] and was succeeded by The Lord Rodger of Earlsferry. On 21 April 2009, he was appointed Second Senior Law Lord, succeeding Lord Hoffmann.[10] On 1 October 2009, Hope became one of the first Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, and its first Deputy President. He retired from that position on 26 June 2013.

In November 2014 it was announced that Lord Hope would be appointed as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2015.[11]

Starting in 2017, Lord Hope's diaries were published in five volumes by Avizandum Publishing. The works chronicled his life and experiences, from Senior Counsel to his retirement from the Supreme Court. The later editions evoked minor controversy over remarks relating to Lady Hale's appointment to the Court,[12] and for revealing certain information about how cases were decided behind the scenes, something one commentator described as "deeply concerning".[13]

Hope was lauded by Iain Duncan Smith for his contribution of support in January 2021 to an amendment to the Trade Act 2021 whereby the government would be required to ensure "that the UK does not trade with genocidal regimes. Importantly, with the United Nations having shown itself incapable of making such decisions, the determination of whether genocide has taken place would be made by the High Court of England and Wales."[14]

Notable cases[edit]

As Deputy President of the Supreme Court

As Lord of Appeal in Ordinary

As Lord President

As Lord Justice General

Honours & Arms[edit]

The Lord Hope of Craighead became Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde in 1998 and was appointed a Fellow in 2000. He stepped down as Chancellor in October 2013.[16] He was awarded an honorary LL.D. by the university in 1993, and by the University of Aberdeen in 1991 and the University of Edinburgh in 1995.

In 2007, he was awarded the David Kelbie Award by the Institute of Contemporary Scotland. He was formerly an Honorary Professor of Law at the University of Aberdeen, and is an honorary member of the Canadian Bar Association (1987) and of The Society of Legal Scholars (1991), an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (2000), and an Honorary Bencher of Gray's Inn (1989) and of the Inn of Court of Northern Ireland (1995). He is also, as of 2008, the Honorary President of the Edinburgh Student Law Review.[citation needed]

On St Andrew's Day, 30 November 2009, Lord Hope was appointed to the Order of the Thistle by Queen Elizabeth II.[17]

The Order of the Thistle is the highest chivalric honour in Scotland. In the UK as a whole it is second only to the Order of the Garter amongst chivalric orders. The order honours Scottish men and women who have held public office or who have contributed in some way to national life.[18] Lord Hope represented the Order at the 2023 Coronation.[19]

Coat of arms of David Hope, Baron Hope of Craighead
A broken terrestrial sphere Proper charged with an anchor Gules surmounted by a rainbow Proper.
Azure on a chevron Or between three bezants a bay leaf between two quill pens Vert.
Two blackfaced rams Proper.
Spes Non Est Fracta (My Hope Is Not Broken)[20]


  1. ^ "Lord Hope of Craighead". UK Parliament. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  2. ^ The Secret History of Our Streets, series 2, episode 1- The Moray Estate, Edinburgh, BBC, first broadcast 25 July 2014
  3. ^ a b c d A&C Black (December 2008). "Hope of Craighead". Who's Who (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U20699. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
  4. ^ "No. 41216". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 November 1957. p. 6400.
  5. ^ "No. 41798". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 August 1959. p. 5357.
  6. ^ "No. 47612". The London Gazette. 8 August 1978. p. 9503.
  7. ^ "No. 53893". The London Gazette. 30 December 1994. p. 1.
  8. ^ "No. 53972". The London Gazette. 3 March 1995. p. 3449.
  9. ^ "No. 54543". The London Gazette. 4 October 1996. p. 13211.
  10. ^ "No. 59045". The London Gazette. 21 April 2009. p. 1.
  11. ^ "Queen Appoints senior judge as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly". Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  12. ^ Rozenberg, Joshua (3 February 2020). "An insider's account of the 'Brenda agenda'". Archived from the original on 3 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Lewis Graham: Lessons from Lord Hope's Diaries: judicial ideology and panel selection". 18 June 2020.
  14. ^ Duncan Smith, Iain (14 January 2021). "The Government must do more to crack down on trade with China". Telegraph Media Group Limited.
  15. ^ supremecourt.uk: HM Treasury v Ahmad, etc Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, 27 January 2010
  16. ^ "Lord Smith of Kelvin appointed University of Strathclyde Chancellor" (Press release). University of Strathclyde. 3 May 2013. Archived from the original on 4 May 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
  17. ^ "No. 59258". The London Gazette. 1 December 2009. p. 20801.
  18. ^ "Announcement of new appointments to the Order of the Thistle, 29 November 2009". Royal Household of the United Kingdom. 29 November 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  19. ^ "Coronation order of service in full". BBC News. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  20. ^ Debrett's Peerage. 2019. p. 3059.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by Lord Justice General and Lord President of the Court of Session
Succeeded by
Preceded by Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
Preceded by Second Senior Law Lord
New creation Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Other offices
Preceded by Convenor of the Crossbench Peers
Succeeded by
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by Gentlemen
Baron Hope of Craighead
Followed by
The Lord Blyth of Rowington