Who are you?
Hello, I’m Andrew. I got my undergraduate Law degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2010, and my postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice in 2011. I was lucky enough to be offered a criminal defence traineeship that started in June 2011, made my first court appearance in August 2012*, and fully qualified as a solicitor in 2013. I have since worked primarily in Criminal Defence and Professional Regulation, as well as in Children’s Referrals and Extradition Law.
∗ A “means enquiry” (when someone is called to court to explain why they haven’t paid a fine) in Edinburgh Justice of the Peace Court, at which I excitably started talking before the clerk had asked my client to confirm their identity – cringe.
Why have you made this site?
It’s something to do, eh.
Also, as far as I’m aware, it’s quite difficult to find relatively reliable information on the internet about Scottish criminal law, particularly if you get your information from Facebook or the comment section of newspaper articles.
When I was 5 years old, I wanted to either be a train driver, or work in McDonalds (“tubby BRIO enthusiast” sums up most of my childhood quite well). When I was 15, I wanted to be a teacher, before realising that I wasn’t capable of dealing with smartarse children like me for the rest of my career, and deciding that criminal law sounded fun. That said, I still enjoy
the sound of my own voice the concept of teaching, and did some part-time tutoring in Higher English during my postgrad Diploma and the first year of my traineeship.* Hopefully, this site will be an extension of that.
*pro tip: when a student asks you a question you don’t know the answer to, smile knowingly and say “Why don’t you tell me the answer to that?”
My crippling Impostor Syndrome demands that I make something absolutely clear from the start: beyond having been a jobbing defence lawyer for a few years, I am not trying to put myself forward as any kind of authoritative voice about anything to do with criminal law. Relative to many of my peers, I have achieved very little and probably know very little. I’ve never even written an article for The Journal, ffs.
Obviously, I will try my best to be correct as much as possible about the things I’m discussing. That said, I’m not going to pretend that this site will be a great substitute for either a proper academic textbook (if you’re a student), or for instructing a solicitor in respect of your case (if you’re subject to criminal proceedings).
If any of the information that appears on this site is wrong, please tell me! Every day’s a school day.