Roderick John MacLeod, Lord Minginish

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The Honourable
Lord Minginish
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (Scotland).svg
Chairman of the Scottish Land Court
Assumed office
Preceded by Lord McGhie
President of the Lands Tribunal for Scotland
Assumed office
Nominated by Alex Salmond
As First Minister
Appointed by Elizabeth II
Preceded by Lord McGhie
Deputy Chair of the Scottish Land Court
In office
Succeeded by Iain F Maclean
In office
Monarch Elizabeth II
Personal details
Born Roderick John MacLeod
c. 1953
Skye, Scotland[1]
Spouse(s) Lorna
Residence Edinburgh
Alma mater Portree High School; University of Edinburgh
Profession Solicitor; Advocate
Nickname(s) Roddy John MacLeod

Roderick John MacLeod, Lord Minginish, QC (Gaelic: Ruairidh Iain MacLeòid; born c. 1953), also known as Roddy John,[1] is a Scottish solicitor and advocate. Since 2014 he has been Chairman of the Scottish Land Court and President of the Lands Tribunal for Scotland. He is the first Gaelic-speaking chair of the court.[1][2]

Early life

MacLeod was born on the Isle of Skye[1] in about 1953.[n 1] His parents, who were both from the outer-Hebridean isle of Harris, moved in the 1920s to Portnalong in Skye in the 1920s as part of a land settlement scheme.[3]

He was educated on Skye at Portnalong Junior Secondary School from 1957 to 1965, and at Portree High School from 1965 to 1971.[4] He then studied law at the University of Edinburgh, graduating with LLB honours in 1975.[3]


MacLeod then undertook a two-year legal apprenticeship in Edinburgh,[4] before working for from 1977–78 in Gaelic-language broadcasting at BBC Scotland,[3] where he presented current affairs programmes on television.[1] He then completed his training in Motherwell, qualifying as a solicitor in 1980.[4] He practised as a solicitor in Edinburgh until 1993, and in July 1994 he was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates.[5]

In 2000, MacLeod was appointed as a Sheriff to Edinburgh Sheriff Court. In 2013 he "took silk", becoming a Queen's Counsel.[5]

Land Court

Sheriff MacLeod became Deputy Chair of the Scottish Land Court in 2006,[5] serving under Lord McGhie. In 2013, he accompanied Lord McGhie and High Court Judge Lord Bracadale to Skye to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the 1882 Battle of the Braes.[6] The visit was to acknowledge that the court "stands on the shoulders" of the people of Braes who had resisted the attempt eviction of 12 crofters. Their rebellion spread, and led to the Napier Commission and then the Crofters Act 1886, which gave crofters security of tenure.[1]

In September 2014, he was appointed by Elizabeth II to succeed McGhie as Chairman of the Land Court, having been nominated by First Minister Alex Salmond on the recommendation by the independent Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland.[5] Since 1978, the Chair of the Land Court has also held the office of President of the separate Lands Tribunal for Scotland, and MacLeod also holds both roles.[5]

He took office on 1 October 2014.[5] On 17 October, MacLeod was installed in office at the Land Court's headquarters in George House, Edinburgh. The ceremony was led by Lord Gill, who was then the Lord President of the Court of Session and head of the Scottish judiciary. MacLeod took the judicial title Lord Minginish, after the parish of Minginish in Skye, where he was raised.[3]

Other interests

Since 2006, MacLeod has been director of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture, based on the Skye. He has been chair of the higher education college's board of directors since 2007.[2][7][8]

In 2010, MacLeod was a keynote speaker at An t-Alltan, an annual conference organised by Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig for teachers working in Gaelic medium education.[9]

He is also a member of the council of the Royal Celtic Society.[10]

Personal life

MacLeod married his wife Lorna in 1980. He lives in Edinburgh.[4]


  1. ^ The announcement of MacLeod's installation in October 2014 stated his age then as 61.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Ross, David (24 October 2014). "The Highland Line: Lord Minginish's Scottish Land Court appointment proves the powers that be sometimes get it right". The Herald. Glasgow, Scotland. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b Macaulay, Susy (20 October 2014). "Skye man new Land Court chairman". Island News and Advertiser. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e "New Land Court Chairman installed". Judiciary of Scotland website. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d "Biography: Roddy John MacLeod" (PDF). Stòrlann. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Land Court and Lands Tribunal appointment". The Scottish Government website. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  6. ^ Ross, David (23 April 2012). "Judges visit island crime scene to mark centenary of land court". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Management". Sabhal Mòr Ostaig website. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Skye man installed as new Land Court chairman". Sabhal Mòr Ostaig website. October 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  9. ^ Munro, Alistair (28 September 2015). "Gaelic teachers to gather in Highlands". The Scotsman. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Society Info". Royal Celtic Society. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2015.

External links

  • The Scottish Land Court
Legal offices
Preceded by
Lord McGhie
Chairman of the Scottish Land Court
President of the Lands Tribunal for Scotland
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