Scotland’s first female Lord Advocate and chairwoman of the independent inquiry into the murder of Sarah Everard has been awarded an honorary doctorate.

Dame Elish Angiolini has been recognised by Edinburgh Napier University for her “major contribution” to the Scottish criminal justice system, the legal profession and to vulnerable victims across the United Kingdom.

The Glasgow-born lawyer has held a series of significant roles during her career.

After several years of working at the Crown Office, she became the first woman to be appointed as the regional procurator fiscal for Grampian and the Highlands and Islands, and then became the first non-political Solicitor General for Scotland.

She was appointed Lord Advocate – Scotland’s most senior law officer – in 2006, remaining in the post after the following year’s election and stepping down in 2011.

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Since then, she has overseen several notable public investigations, including into the cremation of babies at Mortonhall Crematorium in Edinburgh, complaint handling by Police Scotland and the inquiry into how off-duty police officer Wayne Couzens was able to murder Sarah Everard in 2021.

Commenting on her honorary doctorate, Dame Elish said: “I am very grateful to Edinburgh Napier for this wonderful honour.

“I have been fortunate to have had some very different but fulfilling roles over many years, and each has presented a range of fascinating challenges.”

She was presented with her honorary doctorate during a graduation ceremony for students from Edinburgh Napier University’s business school at the Usher Hall in the city on Thursday.

Presenting the degree, Professor Richard Whitecross, head of law at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “Elish’s legacy as Lord Advocate is noteworthy.

“She balanced a respect for the strengths of the criminal justice system and its independence with a strong commitment to modernisation.

“This award is in recognition of her major contribution to the Scottish criminal justice system, to the legal profession and to vulnerable victims across the United Kingdom.”

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