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William Douglas Cullen


(Lord Cullen of Whitekirk)

1935 -

Born in Edinburgh, Cullen was educated in Dunoon and at the High School of Dundee, having moved to the city in 1946, where his father became a governor of the Dundee Institute of Art and Technology. He went on to study at the University of St. Andrews and the University of Edinburgh. Cullen was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1960 and appointed a Queen¿s Counsel in 1973. Cullen served as an Advocate Depute (1978-81) and was appointed as a judge in 1986. He was Lord Justice Clerk from 1997 to 2001, when he was appointed Lord Justice General and Lord President of the Court of Session.

Lord Cullen chaired the public enquiries into the Piper Alpha Disaster (1988-90), the Dunblane Massacre (1996) and the Ladbroke Grove Rail Inquiry (1999-2001). In 2002, Lord Cullen led the judicial panel at the unique Scottish Court in the Netherlands which dismissed the appeal of Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Al Megrahi against his conviction for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

Cullen retired from his legal offices in 2005. He was appointed as Chancellor of the University of Abertay in 2009, formally installed at a ceremony in St. Mary's Parish Church.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1993, made a Privy Counsellor in 1997, raised to the peerage as Baron Cullen of Whitekirk in 2003 and appointed a Knight of the Thistle in 2007. Cullen holds honorary degrees from the University of Aberdeen (1992), Heriot-Watt University (1995), University of St. Andrews (1997), University of Dundee (2000), University of Edinburgh (2000) and Glasgow Caledonian University (2000).


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