Laura Paton has been appointed the new HM Chief Inspector of Prosecution in Scotland, succeeding Michelle McLeod who served in the role since 2013.  

Ms Paton has been a lead inspector within HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland since 2013, and has significant inspection experience in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK.

Her background is in human rights law, with a particular focus on the rights of those involved in the criminal justice system and of children and young people. 

At HM Inspectorate of Prisons in England & Wales, she provided policy and human rights advice on the independent inspection of prisons and other forms of custody, and from 2009 to 2013 she was also the first coordinator of the UK's National Preventive Mechanism, a group of organisations tasked under international law with monitoring all places of detention. She also also previously worked for the Commissioner for Children & Young People in Scotland, Children 1st, and the Children’s Legal Centre, where she was editor of a journal of law and policy affecting children and their families.

Ms Paton currently serves as a trustee for Together, the Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights. She has a First Class Honours Degree in Scots Law from the University of Glasgow and a LLM in Human Rights Law from Glasgow Graduate School of Law. She took up her new appointment on 15 November.

Welcoming the appointment, Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC said: "I value greatly the work of the Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland. Laura will bring to that important role a wealth of inspection experience and a strong knowledge of Scotland’s criminal justice system."