Lynda Clark, Baroness Clark of Calton

Lynda Margaret Clark, Baroness Clark of Calton PC, known as Lady Clark of Calton, (born 26 February 1949) is a Scottish judge. She was formerly the Labour Member of Parliament for Edinburgh Pentlands. She was Advocate General for Scotland from the creation of that position in 1999 until 2006, whereupon she became a Judge of the Court of Session in Scotland.

The Baroness Clark of Calton

Senator of the College of Justice
In office
Preceded byLady Cosgrove
Advocate General for Scotland
In office
19 May 1999 – 18 January 2006
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byThe Lord Davidson of Glen Clova
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
21 June 2005
Life Peerage
Member of Parliament
for Edinburgh Pentlands
In office
1 May 1997 – 11 April 2005
Preceded byMalcolm Rifkind
Succeeded byconstituency abolished
Personal details
Lynda Margaret Clark

(1949-02-26) 26 February 1949 (age 72)
Political partyLabour
Alma materQueens College, St Andrews,
University of Edinburgh


Clark read Law at Queens College, St Andrews during its transition to independence as the University of Dundee School of Law, graduating in 1970 with a LLB (Hons) from St Andrews, and subsequently gained a PhD in Criminology and Penology from the University of Edinburgh in 1975.[1] She was a lecturer in Jurisprudence from 1973 at the University of Dundee until she was called to the Scottish Bar in 1977. She took silk in 1989, and was subsequently called to the English Bar in 1990 as a member of the Inner Temple.


Clark first stood for election to Parliament at the 1992 general election, where she unsuccessfully contested the North East Fife seat held by Menzies Campbell of the Liberal Democrats. At the 1997 general election, she was elected to the House of Commons for the Edinburgh Pentlands constituency, unseating the Conservative Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Malcolm Rifkind. Rifkind was one of the high-profile losses on election night for the Conservative Party, who experienced their worst defeat since the 1906 general election and lost all their seats in both Scotland and Wales.

In May 1999, Clark was appointed as the first-ever Advocate General for Scotland, a new post created by the Scotland Act 1998 to advise the Crown and Government of the United Kingdom on Scots law.

She stood down at the 2005 general election, allowing Secretary of State for Transport Alistair Darling to contest the new Edinburgh South West constituency.[2]

On 13 May 2005, it was announced that Clark would be created a life peer, and on 21 June 2005 the title was gazetted as Baroness Clark of Calton, of Calton in the City of Edinburgh.[3]

On 18 January 2006, Lady Clark of Calton resigned as Advocate General, pending an expected judicial appointment. She was replaced as Advocate General by Neil Davidson, QC[4] (now Lord Davidson of Glen Clova).


On 19 January, Clark was appointed as a Senator of the College of Justice, a judge of the Supreme Courts of Scotland.[2] She was installed in office in February 2006.[5]

On 21 June 2012, Lady Clark succeeded Lord Drummond Young as Chairman of the Scottish Law Commission.[6] Lady Clark demitted office on 31 December 2013 in order to sit in the Inner House of the Court of Session, and was succeeded as Chairman by Lord Pentland.[7]

As of 2016, Lady Clark of Calton is the most recent Senator of the College of Justice to have served in the House of Commons.

She retired from the bench in 2019.[8]


  • The Role of the Advocate General for Scotland[9]
  • Human Rights and Scots Law: Comparative Perspectives on the Incorporation of the ECHR. Hart Publishing. 2002. ISBN 978-1-84113-044-6.


  1. ^ "The Right Hon the Lady Clark of Calton (Lynda Clark)". Judiciary of Scotland. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Labour MP who quit Commons last year among four new judges". The Scotsman. 20 January 2006. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  3. ^ The Edinburgh Gazette, Issue no.: 25861, Notice ID: E-25861-1108/262, 24 June 2005. Retrieved 7 June 2016
  4. ^ The Edinburgh Gazette, Issue no.: 26014, Notice ID: E-26014-1114/288, 24 March 2006. Retrieved 7 June 2016
  5. ^ "Court shorts". The Scotsman. 14 February 2006. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Lady Clark Appointed Chairman of Scottish Law Commission". Scottish Law Commission. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Scottish Law Commission Annual Report 2013" (PDF). Scottish Law Commission. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Pioneering lawyer Lady Clark of Calton retires". Scottish Legal News. 4 March 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  9. ^ Boyle, Alan E.; Himsworth, Chris; Loux, Andrea; MacQueen, Hector (2002). in A.Boyle, C.Himsworth, A.Loux & H. MacQueen (eds) (2002). ISBN 9781841130446. Retrieved 23 August 2012.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Malcolm Rifkind
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh Pentlands
Constituency abolished
Legal offices
Office Created Advocate General for Scotland
Succeeded by
Neil Davidson