Right Hon Dame Elish Angiolini DBE QC has been elected Principal of St Hugh’s College and will succeed Andrew Dilnot CBE in September.
Dame Elish is the former Lord Advocate of Scotland – the highest law officer in the Scottish legal system. Prior to this she was Solicitor General for Scotland. She was the first woman, and the first solicitor in the modern era, to hold either position.
Andrew Dilnot, the current Principal of St Hugh’s, said: 'I am delighted that the College has elected such an outstanding figure as Dame Elish as its next Principal. Her pioneering achievements will be an inspiration to people both within and outside the College, and I very much look forward to welcoming her to Oxford.'
Dame Elish said: 'Founded to give an excellent education to women who were otherwise excluded from Oxford, and now providing a focus for learning and scholarship for women and men from all backgrounds, St Hugh’s College has an inspiring history and an exciting future. I am eagerly anticipating joining the College and aim both to support and celebrate its important work.'
As Solicitor General for Scotland (2001–2006) and then as Lord Advocate (2006–2011), Dame Elish was instrumental in reforming the operation of the justice system in Scotland, in particular making it more responsive to the victims of crime. In addition, she supervised some of the most significant prosecutions in Scotland in the last decade, and acted as the Scottish Government’s legal advisor during a period of major change.
She stepped down from her post as Lord Advocate in May 2011, and is currently chairing a Commission of Inquiry on Women Offenders in Scotland, as well as practising as an advocate at the Scottish Bar. She was awarded the DBE for services to the administration of justice in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2011. She is now a visiting professor at Strathclyde, an honorary professor at Aberdeen University and holds honorary degrees from the universities of Glasgow Caledonian, Strathclyde and Aberdeen. She is also a QC and Privy Counsellor.