Saltire Society President from 2006 to 2011
At the Society's 2005 Annual General Meeting held in Kirriemuir on 25th June, 2005, The Right Honourable The Lord Sutherland of Houndwood, K.T. demitted office and handed over the Chain of Office to The Right Honourable The Lord Cullen of Whitekirk who was elected by the membership as the Society's new President.
He was called to the Scottish Bar in 1960 and became a Queen's Counsel in 1973. He served as an Advocate depute (Crown Counsel) from 1978 to 1981. In 1986 he was appointed a Senator of the College of Justice. He held office as the Lord Justice Clerk from 1997 until 2001, when he became the Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General of Scotland. He retired from the latter office in 2005. Since then he has become a justice of the Civil and Commercial Court of Qatar Financial Centre. He conducted a number of public inquiries, the first of which was into the Piper Alpha Disaster.
He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1997, and a life peer in 2003. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by a number of universities.
He is a former chairman of the Cockburn Association (Edinburgh Civic Trust), and a former member of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, and of the University Court of Napier University.
He is the President of SACRO and the chairman of the board of The Signet Accreditation Limited. On accepting the Presidency, Lord Cullen said - I am delighted to become the President of the Saltire Society. Thanks to its work over many years in promoting awareness of Scotland's cultural heritage and of contemporary achievements in so many fields the Society has come to occupy a very special position in the life of Scotland. It is a great privilege for me to be able to show my support for the aims and activities of the Society in this way.