Ailsa Carmichael, Lady Carmichael

Ailsa Jane Carmichael, Lady Carmichael QC is a Scottish judge.[1] In June 2016 she was appointed as a Senator of the College of Justice, a judge of the Court of Session.[2]

Lady Carmichael

Senator of the College of Justice
Assumed office
30 June 2016
Nominated byNicola Sturgeon
As First Minister
MonarchElizabeth II
Personal details
Ailsa Jane Carmichael

Paisley, Scotland
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow
Occupationjudge, lawyer


Carmichael was born in 1969.[1] She was educated at the University of Glasgow, where she graduated in 1990 with an LLB (hons) (Upper Second Class specialising in Comparative Law).[3] After receiving her Diploma in Legal Practice in 1991, she undertook a bar traineeship with Simpson & Marwick in Edinburgh after which[3] she was admitted as an advocate in 1993,[4] and devilled for sheriff J.A. Baird and for S.J. MacGibbon.[5] From 2000 to 2008 she was standing junior counsel to the Home Office in Scotland, appearing in many judicial reviews and statutory appeals relating to immigration and asylum. She was junior counsel to the Fingerprint Inquiry,[4] which investigated the use of fingerprint evidence in the case of Detective Constable Shirley McKie.[6]

She took silk in 2008.[3]

Carmichael specialises in public and administrative law.[4] She served as an advocate depute, as a member of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland, and as a part-time sheriff.[5]

From 2011 to 2014, Carmichael was a tutor in human rights at the Diploma in Legal Practice course at the University of Edinburgh.[3]


On 11 May 2016, it was announced that Carmichael would be one of five new judges appointed to the College of Justice, the others being John Beckett, Alistair Clark, Frank Mulholland, and Andrew Stewart.[7] Mulholland's appointment was not due to take effect until later in 2016, after the retirement of another judge. The other four appointees were to fill existing vacancies.[8] Beckett, Clark and Stewart were all installed in May,[9][10][11] however Carmichael's installation came a month later, on 30 June 2016.[2] She took the judicial title Lady Carmichael.[2]

See also


  1. "Carmichael, Hon. Lady, (Ailsa Jane Carmichael)", Who's Who, Oxford University Press, 1 December 2009, doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u249644, retrieved 22 April 2019
  2. "Lady Carmichael joins the bench". Scottish Legal News. 30 June 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  3. "Ailsa Carmichael". Ampersand law set. Retrieved 5 June 2016.[permanent dead link]
  4. "Ailsa J. Carmichael QC". Faculty of Advocates website. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  5. "Ailsa J. Carmichael QC". Murray Stable. Archived from the original on 5 April 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  6. "About the Inquiry". Fingerprint Inquiry Scotland. Archived from the original on 28 April 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  7. "Senators appointed to College of Justice". Scottish Government website. 11 May 2016. Archived from the original on 12 May 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  8. "Five new Senators named". Faculty of Advocates website. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  9. "Lord Beckett joins Scottish bench". Scottish Legal News. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  10. "Alistair Clark QC made Senator of the College of Justice". Scottish Legal News. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  11. "Lord Ericht joins the bench". Scottish Legal News. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.