Principal of St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford

Elish Angiolini grew up in Govan in Glasgow and studied Law at the University of Strathclyde, graduating in 1982. She trained at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, and spent eight years as a Depute Procurator Fiscal in Airdrie, prosecuting in Airdrie Sheriff Court before moving to the Crown Office to work as part of the Lord Advocate’s Secretariat.

In 1997 Elish was appointed Head of Policy in the Crown Office, helping the department prepare for devolution, the Scotland Act 1998 and the introduction of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Elish was the first woman to be appointed as Regional Procurator Fiscal for Grampian and the Highlands and Islands. She was the Lord Advocate of Scotland from 2006 until 2011, having previously been Solicitor General since 2001. She was the first woman, the first Procurator Fiscal and the first solicitor to hold either post.
During her legal career Elish developed her now long-standing interest in improving support offered to vulnerable victims and witnesses. She piloted the national roll out of the Victim Information and Advice Service in Scotland, and has worked to improve how minority communities and domestic violence victims achieve greater confidence in the prosecution service.

With a reputation as a moderniser, Elish has led a number of crucial investigations and inquiries. Her review of the investigation and prosecution of rape and sexual crimes in Scotland resulted in the establishment of a specialist National Sexual Crimes Unit, the first of its type in Europe. During 2011 and 2012 she chaired the Commission on Women Offenders which reported in April 2012 and in February 2013 she was appointed to investigate and report on the cremation of babies at Mortonhall Crematorium in Edinburgh. She has recently completed a major review into the handling of rape cases by the Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service.

Elish has been Principal of St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford since September 2012.