Anne Smith, Lady Smith

Anne Smith, Lady Smith, PC (born 16 March 1955) is a Scottish lawyer, and a judge of the Supreme Courts of Scotland.

Lady Smith
Lady Smith 2006.jpg
Official portrait from 2006
Senator of the College of Justice
Assumed office
Nominated byHenry McLeish
As First Minister
MonarchElizabeth II
Personal details
Anne Mather

(1955-03-16) 16 March 1955 (age 67)
SpouseDavid Alexander Smith
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh

Early lifeEdit

Smith was educated at Jordanhill School and Cheadle County Grammar School for Girls, before attending the School of Law of the University of Edinburgh, where she graduated with an LL.B. (Hons.).[1] She served a two-year apprenticeship with Shepherd and Wedderburn WS, and was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1980.

Legal careerEdit

Smith worked as Standing Junior Counsel to the Countryside Commission,[1] before becoming a Queen's Counsel in 1993.[1]

She served as a Temporary Sheriff from 1995 to 1999,[2] as Chairman of the Scottish Partnership on Domestic Abuse from 1998 to 2000,[1] and as an Advocate Depute from 2000 to 2001.[2] In April 2001 she was blamed by Donald Findlay QC for falling dress standards in the courts. In 1997, she had been the first woman to appear before the Court of Session in trousers; Findlay said that "The drop in standards began when female lawyers were allowed to wear trousers in court. They are all right for going to Tesco in, but not suitable dress for ladies to wear in court."[2] In November 2001, Smith was appointed a judge of the Court of Session and High Court of Justiciary, the Supreme Courts of Scotland, taking the judicial title, Lady Smith. Filling the vacancy created by Lord Gill's promotion to Lord Justice Clerk, she was only the third woman to be appointed to the College of Justice.


Smith was appointed as chairwoman of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry in July 2016; since February 2017 she has been the sole member of the panel.[3] In 2019, a disability discrimination employment claim was made against Smith at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. The allegation was that Smith discriminated, harassed and victimised a junior advocate of the Inquiry when he was diagnosed with cancer, undergoing surgery, during chemotherapy and thereafter to date. Smith denied the allegations. The claim was later withdrawn due to fear of costs.[4][5] On 23 February 2022, an appeal court held that Smith was acting beyond her powers to prevent the BBC from fully reporting on the disability discrimination employment claim against Smith. An order restricting reporting detail of the claim was issued by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry and then challenged by the BBC, first through a judicial review and then an appeal of that review decision. [6]

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has been criticised for the limited scope of investigations, mounting costs, and delay.[7][8][9]

Personal lifeEdit

Smith married David Alexander Smith, WS, a solicitor, in 1979, with whom she has a son and a daughter.


  1. ^ a b c d "Biographies - The Hon Lady Smith". Scottish Court Service. Archived from the original on 23 September 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  2. ^ a b c "Trousers-row lawyer to sit on bench". The Scotsman. 26 November 2001. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Scottish Child Abuse inquiry to be extended". BBC. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Advocate John Halley withdraws employment claim against Lady Smith". Scottish Legal News. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Mr J Halley v The Rt Hon Lady Anne Smith Respondent Chair Of The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry: 4107805/2019". Gov.UK. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry judge had no power to ban media, court rules". BBC. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  7. ^ Scott, Marion (26 January 2020). "Child abuse inquiry: Angela Constance defends remit". BBC News. Retrieved 6 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Garavelli, Dani (17 August 2014). "Call for inquiry into Scots historical sex abuse". The Scotsman.
  9. ^ Horne, Marc (26 July 2021). "Child abuse inquiry costs soar as concern raised over compensation panel fees". The Times.

External linksEdit

  • profile at Judiciary of Scotland website