A warning against changing the role of the Lord Advocate as a "knee-jerk reaction" to recent controversies has been given by Dean of Faculty Roddy Dunlop QC.

In an interview with Holyrood magazine, Mr Dunlop said that while "recent travails" have arisen from the likes of the Alex Salmond judicial review and the Whitehouse prosecution and others related to Rangers FC, "you have to set that against the fact the Lord Advocate’s office is centuries old and has operated perfectly sensibly and satisfactorily for centuries... by all means have a look at it, but don’t make change for change’s sake".

Political momentum has been growing to split the Lord Advocate's role as adviser to the Scottish Government from that of head of the prosecution service.

Mr Dunlop praises James Wolffe QC, who recently resigned as Lord Advocate, as "an exceptional lawyer and a man of unimpeachable honour and integrity".

In the interview he also casts doubt on the reasons for abolishing the not proven verdict, despite apparently growing political support for the move, challenging campaigners such as Rape Crisis Scotland to produce evidence that the existence of the verdict is leading to acquittals where there should be a conviction. 

A regular contributor to Twitter – which he describes as "quite often an absolute cesspit" – Mr Dunlop admits he only took it up because the Faculty's PR adviser said it was important to engage with modern Scotland in a modern fashion. And he believes the ability through social media to have open and frank comment on the justice system "is, in the main, healthy".