Alexander Irvine of Lairg



Alexander Andrew Mackay Irvine, Baron Irvine of Lairg PC, QC (m. 1955), known as Derry Irvine, is a Scottish lawyer, judge, and political figure.

Irvine was born on 23 June 1940 in Inverness, Scotland, and was educated at Hutchesons Grammar School in Glasgow. He later read Scots law at the University of Glasgow and then read English law at Christ's College. After a brief spell teaching law at the London School of Economics, he was called to the Bar in 1967.

Irvine joined chambers headed by Sir Morris Finer. He became a QC in 1978 and head of chambers in 1981, on founding 11 King's Bench Walk Chambers. Among his pupil barristers were Tony Blair and Cherie Booth. In the 1980s he became a Recorder, and then a Deputy High Court Judge.

He was a legal adviser to the Labour Party through the 1980s, and he was given a life peerage as Baron Irvine of Lairg, in the District of Sutherland on 25 March 1987.  He was appointed as Lord Chancellor in 1997 after serving for five years as Shadow Lord Chancellor.

In addition to his traditional role of supervising the legal system, in 2001 he gained responsibility for a wide range of constitutional issues, including human rights and freedom of information.

Irvine was elected an Honorary Fellow of Christ’s College in 1996.

 

 
 

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