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Papers, mostly professional, of David Hope, Lord Hope of Craighead, with related ephemera.

Identifier: Acc.13568/1-90

Scope and Contents

James Arthur David Hope, Baron Hope of Craighead, KT PC FRSE, senior judge, first Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Second Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, was born on 27 June 1938. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy and Rugby School. After national service as an officer with the Seaforth Highlanders (1957-1959), becoming a Lieutenant, he was an open scholar at St John's College, Cambridge University, where he read Classics (1959-1962). On his return to Scotland Lord Hope studied law at Edinburgh University, graduating LL.B. in 1965. In the same year he was admitted to practise at the Scottish Bar as a member of the Faculty of Advocates. He remained in private practice there for 24 years. During that time he was Standing Junior Counsel in Scotland to the Board of Inland Revenue (1974-1978), became a Queen's Counsel in 1978, and was an Advocate Depute (1978-1982), prosecuting for the Crown in the High Court of Justiciary.

From 1986 to 1989 he was Dean of the Faculty of Advocates (Chairman of the Scottish Bar). In 1989 he was appointed direct from the bar to the bench as Lord Justice General of Scotland and Lord President of the Court of Session. He held these offices for seven years until 1996, when he was appointed a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary. In 2009 he was appointed to be the second senior Lord of Appeal. Later that year the appellate jurisdiction of the House of Lords was transferred to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and he became its first Deputy President. He retired from that office in 2013 and is now active as a cross-bencher in the House of Lords.

He was made a Privy Councillor in 1989 and a Life Peer in 1995. He was appointed to be a Knight of the Order of the Thistle in 2009. He is an Honorary Bencher of Gray's Inn and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. From 1998 to 2013 he was Chancellor of Strathclyde University, where he is now an Emeritus Professor. He was also Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, which is part of the School of Advanced Studies in the University of London. He is a former President of the Commonwealth Magistrates' and Judges' Association. Lord Hope has been appointed by the Queen to be the Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 2015.

The papers reflect Lord Hope's distinguished and prolific career. Of particular signficance are the opinion notebooks series. Each notebook includes an index of subjects at the back of the front cover. Legal opinions written in the course of resolving a case or legal dispute are meticulously recorded and dated on each volume. The ephemera series shows Lord Hope's wide interest in the arts, music and sport, as well as his prominent role in British and Scottish public life.


  • Creation: 1953-2014.


Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


1.66 Linear metres (16 boxes)

Language of Materials



The papers have been arranged into the following categories:

1-79 Professional Papers

1-46 Advocate's Opinions, 1978-1989

47-55 Dean of Faculty Notes and Draft Letters, 1986-1989

56-78 Judicial Opinions, 1989-1994

79 Financial Papers, 1965-1989

80 Personal Papers, 1959-1962

81-90 Ephemera, 1953-2014

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented, November 2014.


All material has been retained.

National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland
09 12 2014
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Local Descriptive Rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division Repository

Archives and Manuscript Division
National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1EJ
0131 623 3700