The Rt Hon The Lord Mackay of Clashfern KT PC, is Her Majesty’s Lord High Commissioner for the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. From 1988 to 1997 he was Lord Chancellor of the United Kingdom, the highest office in the judiciary of the UK. He is also Chancellor of Heriott-Watt University and a Senior Fellow of The Trinity Forum.
The Lord Mackay was born James Peter Hymers Mackay in Edinburgh on 2 July 1927. He was educated at George Heriott’s School and at Edinburgh University where he graduated MA with Honours in mathematics and natural philosophy.
In 1948 he began lecturing in mathematics at the University of St. Andrews. He became a Scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge, and took his BA in 1952. In 1955 he was admitted to the Scottish Bar, became a Queen’s Counsel in 1965 and was elected the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, the head of the Scottish Bar, in 1976.
In 1979, Lord Mackay joined the UK Government as Lord Advocate and served in that office until he was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts of Scotland in 1984. In 1985 he was appointed a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, one of the judicial members of the House of Lords.
Lord Mackay is a Queen’s Privy Councillor and is a Knight of the Thistle—the highest civil honour that the Queen is able to bestow in Scotland.