Current Access to Justice Committee Members


The Hon Lady Carmichael

Lady Carmichael as appointed Judge of the Supreme Courts in May 2016.

Further information about Lady Carmichael can be found here.


Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull

Sheriff Principal Turnbull is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1988, working for A.C.White in Ayr and Levy & McRae in Glasgow before joining MacRoberts in 1993. He became a partner there in 1997, specialising in commercial and construction disputes and health and safety and environmental prosecutions, and served as the managing partner from 2011 to 2014. He was appointed as a part-time sheriff in 2011 and became a full-time sheriff in 2014. He was appointed Sheriff Principal of Glasgow and Strathkelvin with effect from 1 September 2016.

Summary Sheriff Jillian Martin-Brown

Sheriff Martin-Brown was appointed as a Summary Sheriff to the sheriffdom of Tayside, Central and Fife in December 2016.

Ruth Crawford QC

Ruth Crawford called to the Bar in 1993, and became a QC in 2008. Ruth specialises in the areas of public law, judicial review, human rights, commercial law, planning, competition, public procurement and professional liability.  Ruth was Second Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Ministers between 2002 and 2008. Since taking Silk, Ruth has continued to advise and represent the Scottish Ministers on many areas of public and administrative law.  Ruth is also instructed by the UK Government, and by public bodies in Scotland, on public and administrative law.  Ruth is on the panel of Advocates instructed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. She is also accredited by the Faculty of Advocates Dispute Resolution Service to provide expert opinions.

Dean Purdie

Dean Purdie is a solicitor who runs his own civil litigation practice in Aberdeen.  He is a member of the Law Society of Scotland’s Education & Training Committee. He is a part-time tutor in civil court practice at Aberdeen University. He  joined the Access to Justice Committee in June 2016

Employment Judge Joseph d'Inverno

Judge d’Inverno is currently (since 2002) an Employment Judge, sitting in Employment Tribunal (Scotland) and, since 2015 a Judge of the County Court in England & Wales sitting on the North East Circuit.  Before assuming full time judicial appointment in 2005, he practiced as a Solicitor Advocate (since 1993) and as a Solicitor since 1983 He currently functions as one of fifteen “Judge Mediators” in Scotland. Judge d’Inverno is a former member of the Sheriff Court Rules Council and, until 2016, was a serving member of the Territorial Army and Army Reserve.

Joel Conn

Mr Conn graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1996 and was admitted as a solicitor in 1998. He is a director of Mitchells Roberton in their litigation department, based in Glasgow.  He specialises in commercial litigation and debt recovery and has particular expertise in insolvency, factoring and finance leasing, complex secured debt recovery and all aspects of contract disputes. He was the first solicitor to be awarded accreditation by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in Debt & Asset Recovery Law and frequently provides training on these issues to members of the legal and other professions as well as to clients.  Mr Conn also now sit part-time as a Legal Member of the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber).

Thomas Docherty

Mr Docherty’s professional background is in press and public relations, in which he has had extensive experience.  He was Member of Parliament for five years from May 2010 to May 2015.

He is currently Head of Public Affairs, Nations and Regions at Which?.  He is responsible for leading on all engagement with key external audiences across the nations and regions of the UK, including establishing new relationships with external stakeholders in Wales, Northern Ireland and the regions of England.  He leads on work to position Which?  as a key consumer voice across governments and with key political influencers, with a brief to shape national and local government thinking on key consumer issues.  He also acts as primary spokesperson to devolved administrations, engaging directly with Ministers and parliamentary committees. 

Denise Swanson

The Scottish Government holds a standing appointment on each Council committee. Denise Swanson is a career civil servant who joined the then Scottish Office in 1982. She has held a variety of policy posts covering matters such as student grants, further and higher education, school curriculum, children's hearings and third sector. She is currently head of the Access to Justice Unit in the Justice Directorate.

Anne Dickson

The Scottish Legal Aid Board holds a standing appointment on each Council committee.

Anne Dickson is the Director for Strategic Development at the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB).

SLAB was set up in 1987 to manage legal aid in Scotland.

Prior to joining SLAB in 2012, Anne was a solicitor in private practice in both Scotland and England.

She has worked as a social policy consultant with a particular interest in policy relating to housing, homelessness and relationship breakdown, which reflected the interests and practice she pursued as a solicitor.

Anne’s responsibilities as Director include the development of strategic advice on legal aid policy, the effective management of SLAB’s grant funding programme and the direct delivery of services through the Civil Legal Assistance Office.


The Council has nominated a number of observers to attend Council and committee meetings in order to assist in the carrying out of its functions.  In addition to members of the Access to Justice Committee the following observers attend committee meetings:

Mark Kubeczka, Legislation Implementation Team, Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service
Christina Bardsley, Depute in Charge of Offices of Court, Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service