Alexander McCall Smith joins Faculty of Advocates
News - date posted 28/03/10
Alexander McCall Smith, the best-selling Scots author, has become a member of the Faculty of Advocates.
Professor McCall Smith is read world-wide, particularly for his No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency stories,
and has also enjoyed a distinguished academic career leading to his appointment as Emeritus Professor of
Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh. He will become a non-practising member of Faculty.
He was called to the Bar during a formal ceremony at Parliament House in Edinburgh.
The Professor already has a family link with the Faculty with a relative, Anne McCall Smith, having been
admitted in 1951. She was one of the earliest woman members of the Scottish Bar.
He also follows in the footsteps of other members of Faculty, such as Scott, Boswell, Cockburn, Jeffrey
and Stevenson, who gained distinction in the literary world.
Professor McCall Smith said: "I am delighted to be joining, on a non-practising basis, so distinguished
a body as the Faculty of Advocates. Scotland is immensely fortunate to have such a fine organisation as
this and I am very honoured to be joining its ranks."
Richard Keen QC, Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, said: "I am sure all members will join with me in
welcoming such a distinguished addition to Faculty membership as Professor McCall Smith.
"His work as a prolific and popular author is, of course, well known; perhaps less so his achievements
as an academic lawyer who has made a significant contribution to the disciplines of medical law and
criminal law over many years.
"Professor McCall Smith first applied for Faculty membership in 1981 but because of other professional
commitments at the time was unable to follow that through. I am pleased that he has now been able to bring
that ambition to fruition."
Alexander McCall Smith was born in Bulawayo in what was then Southern Rhodesia in 1948, studied law at
the Edinburgh University, where he graduated with a First Class Honours degree and returned to teach law
at the University of Botswana.
On his return to Scotland he became Professor of Medical Law at Edinburgh University where the Law
Faculty has traditionally maintained close links with the Faculty of Advocates.
He is a former chairman of the British Medical Journal Ethics Committee, ex vice-chairman of the UK's
Human Genetics Commission and a former member of UNESCO's International Bioethics Commission.
In the 2006 New Year's Honours list he was awarded the CBE for services to literature and the following
year received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at a ceremony to celebrate the 300th anniversary of
the School of Law at Edinburgh University.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of
Physicians in Edinburgh.
Best known for the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series featuring Precious Ramotswe, Professor McCall
Smith is the author of many other books including the Isabel Dalhousie Mysteries, the 44 Scotland
Street Series and numerous children's books.
His latest work Precious and the Puggies tells the story of Precious Ramotswe's first case and appears
in Scots for a year before it is translated into English.
The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series has already been translated into 44 other languages with
worldwide sales of 20 million.
His academic works include Law and Medical Ethics (with J. Kenyon Mason), Butterworth's Medico-Legal
Encyclopaedia (also with J Kenyon Mason) the Criminal Law of Botswana, Scots Criminal Law
(with David Sheldon) and Errors, Medicine and the Law (with Alan Merry). He also contributed
to a Draft Criminal Code for Scotland.
Alexander McCall Smith is also an amateur bassoonist and co-founder of the Really Terrible Orchestra.
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