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Lord Hope’s Diaries is the title of a series of books which covers the whole of Lord Hope’s career at the Scottish Bar and as a Judge in Edinburgh and then in London. It provides a unique and fascinating insight into a way of life in the law that has now passed into history.
This was a time when the legal profession in all its aspects was much less closely regulated than it is now. As a result Lord Hope’s career unfolded in a way that could not be repeated today, as he progressed direct from the Bar to the most senior position in the Scottish judiciary as Lord President, from there to the House of Lords as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and then to the newly established UK Supreme Court as its first Deputy President.The third in the series deals with David Hope’s term of office as Lord President of the Court of Session. Much of his time was taken up with hearing appeals and writing judgments and visiting many prisons in his capacity as Lord Justice General.
He had many other duties to perform as head of the Court and within a few months of taking up office he had to find a way of suppressing false but persistent rumours about ‘Gay Judges’.
His attempts to respond positively to pressures for reform were not always successful, but he did introduce a scheme for the filming of criminal trials and settled the rules for the introduction of solicitor advocates to the supreme courts. He attended judicial conferences at home and overseas and played a leading role in the state visit to Scotland of the King of Norway.