Ministerial role

HM Advocate General for Scotland


Advocate General for Scotland

The Advocate General for Scotland is one of the Law Officers of the Crown, who advise the government on Scots law.

Responsibilities include:

  • Oversight of Schedule 6 to the Scotland Act 1998 relating to ‘devolution issues’ raised before courts or tribunals in Scotland
  • The Advocate General can choose to intervene, on behalf of the UK government, in proceedings in which devolution issues have been raised if he so decides
  • The Office of the Advocate General considers all Scottish Parliament Bills as they progress, in consultation with interested UK government departments, to assess their legislative competency. Under section 33 of the Scotland Act, the Advocate General has the power to refer Scottish Parliament Bills to the Supreme Court for decisions on their legislative competence

Current role holder

Lord Stewart of Dirleton QC

Keith Stewart QC was appointed Advocate General for Scotland in October 2020.


Keith attended Dirleton Primary School and George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh before going to Keble College, Oxford. Keith continued his education at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Strathclyde.


Keith was called to the Bar in 1993 and took silk in 2011. He specialises in criminal law, and has advised in other matters including defamation and intellectual property.

Personal Life

Keith lives in North Berwick and is married with two children.

More about this person

Previous holders of this role

  1. The Rt Hon Lord Keen of Elie QC

    2015 to 2020

  2. The Rt Hon Lord Wallace of Tankerness QC

    2010 to 2015