In the Greshornish House Accord of 16 September 2008, Professors Hans Köchler and Robert Black said:

“It is inappropriate that the Chief Legal Adviser to the Government is also head of all criminal prosecutions. Whilst the Lord Advocate and Solicitor General continue as public prosecutors the principle of separation of powers seems compromised. The potential for a conflict of interest always exists. Resolution of these circumstances would entail an amendment of the provisions contained within the Scotland Act 1998.”

The judges of Scotland’s highest court came to share this view. In a submission to the commission set up to consider how the devolution settlement between Scotland and the United Kingdom could be improved, the judges recommended that the Lord Advocate should cease to be the head of the public prosecution system and should act only as the Scottish Government’s chief legal adviser.

In the light of this, the new First Minister Alex Salmond decided after his election 2007 that the Lord Advocate would no longer attend the Scottish Cabinet, stating he wished to “de-politicise” the post. Has anyone in the squad of the current SNP government ever revisited this unworthy weak point in the legislature? Or were they so overly power-hungry when they realized that they, at the levers of power, could use it for their own opaque power games?