The Scotsman, Saturday 16 July 2005
Top judge calls time on his distinguished career
HAMISH MACDONELL
SCOTTISH POLITICAL EDITOR

LORD Cullen of Whitekirk [of Whitewash ~ ed.], the senior judge in Scotland and the man who led the inquiries into the three worst disasters of modern times, is stepping down from office.

The 69-year-old, who headed public inquiries into the Dunblane Massacre, the Piper Alpha tragedy and the Paddington train crash of 1999, announced his retirement yesterday.

He will step down as Scotland's most senior judge, the Lord President of the Court of Session, on 25 November.

William Cullen has been a judge for 19 years but came to public prominence via several controversial and emotional investigations.

After 167 people were killed in the explosion on the North Sea Piper Alpha oil platform on 6 July 1988, he answered the difficult questions about how and why it happened.   [Ed. ~ Not so at the Dunblane Inquiry.]

The Cullen Report was the end product of the two-year inquiry and his conclusions led to the most significant safety reforms in the North Sea oil industry.

He also headed the public inquiry into the Dunblane tragedy, where 16 children and their teacher were shot dead by Thomas Hamilton at a primary school on 13 March 1996.  Lord Cullen's report on the killings led to fundamental changes in handgun law.  [Ed. ~ Fundamental changes?  He was simply diverting the discourse from the main issues.  For example, who and what cliques protected Thomas Hamilton over many, many years, allowing him to run boys' clubs and retain his gun licence with impunity.]

He later headed a public inquiry into the Paddington train crash, in which 31 people died in 1999.  His subsequent report criticised Railtrack for "institutional paralysis" and "lamentable failure".

Lord Cullen, who was appointed to the post of Lord President in 2001, also chaired the panel of five judges that turned down the appeal of the convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Mohmet al-Megrahi in March 2002.

Scotland's First Minister, Jack McConnell, paid tribute to Lord Cullen, whose retirement will make legal history in Scotland.  For the first time, an element of outside scrutiny will be applied to the task of choosing his successor as Scotland's most senior judge.

Mr McConnell has appointed a four-person panel to consider applications, meet each candidate and "report on the suitability of each person" for this key appointment.

It will be the first time this process has been applied to choosing Scotland's top judicial figure, who is styled Lord President of the Court of Session when sitting in civil cases and Lord Justice General in criminal cases.  The title of Lord President dates back to 1808, and Lord Justice General - which used to be a hereditary appointment - to 1687.

Lord Cullen's successor will be recommended to the Queen by the Prime Minister, who cannot recommend anyone not nominated by the First Minister.

The four-person panel will comprise the former Lord President Lord Hope; Sir David Edward QC, a retired judge; Sir Neil McIntosh, the chairman of the judicial appointments board for Scotland, and a former Royal Mail executive, Barbara Duff, who is also a member of the judicial appointments board.

Mr McConnell yesterday praised Lord Cullen, saying: "Lord Cullen has given outstanding public service both in his role as a judge and as chair of some of the most important public inquiries of recent times.

He has presided over a programme of modernisation of the High Court and the Court of Session, which has already delivered some good results.

"It will be essential to find a successor to carry this initiative forward and I am asking the panel to focus on this key aspect in their deliberations."  [Ed. ~ How will society ever repair itself when scum characters scratch each other's back to preserve their bogus reputations?]

leaving the judiciary - before he got turfed out for his ignominious role in the Dunblane Inquiry Whitewash
William Burns demanded Lord Cullen's resignation from the judiciary in a letter to him and to the judicial department in the House of Lords, dated 27 February 2003, when he learned that Cullen had put his correspondence with him before, during and after his pseudo-inquiry into the Dunblane Massacre on a nonstatutory, illegal, 100-year closure order.  Cullen finally retired, or was ousted, on 25 November 2005, almost ten years after he piloted his Dunblane Inquiry Whitewash.
First Minister, Jack McConnell shames Scotland by paying tribute to Lord Cullen, the Lord President and Scotland's top judge, after Cullen announced he was

First Minister Shames Scotland

Copyright © 2016 William Burns. All rights reserved.
The stained glass window in St Blane's Church, Dunblane, which commemorates the victims of the 1996 Massacre
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Click here to view the full list in the Dunblane Whitewash catalogue
We know that the above victims were killed by Thomas Hamilton, but, although we may not care, we do not know for sure who killed Thomas Hamilton, and why that person was carrying a revolver at the time!
Emma Crozier
Kevin Hassell
Victoria Clydesdale
Ross Irvine
David Kerr
John Petrie
Hanna Scott
Joanna Ross
Sophie North
Emily Morton
Maegan Turner
Brett McKinnon
Abigail McLennan
Charlotte Dunn
Mhairi MacBeath
Melissa Currie
Gwen Hodson/Mayor - schoolteacher
List of the victims of the Dunblane Massacre
Dunblane Massacre
Dunblane Cover-up