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Law and change: Scottish legal heroes
Law and change: Scottish legal heroes

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Sir David Edward

You have watched Sir David Edward speak on a number of topics. Throughout his long career he has made a significant contribution to the legal system and to laws which have benefitted those resident within the EU.

In the words of one of his colleagues ‘His life has been marked by service and accomplishment, and his contributions have influenced – and undeniably opened opportunities for – today’s and tomorrow’s European Union citizens.’ In the words of another his ‘life and career have been both inspiring and instructive’.

Sir David Edward was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1962 and became a QC in 1974. He served as Clerk and then Treasurer of the Faculty, represented the Faculty at the Consultative Committee of the Bars and Law Societies of the European Community (of which he served as President from 1978–80).

He was Salvesen Professor of European Institutions and Director of the Europa Institute at the School of Law of the University of Edinburgh from 1985 to 1989, during which time he served on three occasions as Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities.

In 1989, he was appointed one of the inaugural Judges of the newly created European Court of First Instance and in 1992 was appointed Judge of the European Court of Justice a position from which he retired in 2004.

He sat as a temporary judge of the Court of Session in Scotland, hearing civil appeals until 2009. In December 2005 was sworn into the Privy Council. He was also a member of the Commission on Scottish Devolution chaired by Professor Sir Kenneth Calman, and a member of the UK Commission on a Bill of Rights, 2011–12.

In the course of his practice at the Bar, Sir David appeared eight times in the House of Lords (the UK’s most senior appeal court in civil matters) and four times before the Court of Justice of the European Communities:

Generous with his time, expertise and experience, his contributions have enriched both the legal system in Scotland and in the EU, and though these wider society.

Sir David Edward
Figure 9 Sir David Edward