THE leader of the Scottish Bar, Nigel Emslie, QC, was installed as a judge yesterday, completing a legal dynasty of Emslies on the Scottish bench.

The dean of the faculty of advocates took the judicial title of Lord Emslie, following in the footsteps of his father who was lord justice general and lord president of the Court of Session, Scotland's senior judge, for 17 years until he retired in 1989.

Mr Emslie's younger brother, Derek, became a judge in 1997 as Lord Kingarth, and it was assumed then that the ''Emslie'' judicial title was being reserved for the elder brother.

Normally judicial installations are conducted by the lord president of the day but Downing Street has so far failed to announce a successor to Lord Rodger, who has resigned to become an appeal judge in the House of Lords.

At yesterday's installation at Parliament House in Edinburgh, Lord Cullen, the lord justice clerk, presided over a bench of 14 judges and Mr Emslie's father was present to watch the ceremony.

The new judge has been an advocate since 1972, became a QC in 1983, and has been dean of faculty since 1997. He has been appointed to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of Lord Prosser.

Apart from the top two jobs of lord president and lord justice clerk, Scottish judges are now appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of Henry McLeish, the first minister, who takes into account the report of a selection board.

The selection board comprised Lord Coulsfield and Lord Sutherland (two of the Lockerbie judges), Christine Davis, former chairman of the Scottish legal aid board, and JD Gallagher, head of the Scottish Executive justice department.

The appointment of the dean of the faculty of advocates, Mr Nigel Emslie, QC, as a judge has left a vacancy for the job of

leader of the Scottish bar.

The person to fill the post, much sought after as, apart from its prestige, it is invariably a stepping stone to the bench, will be elected by his or her colleagues at the bar.