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Scotland’s sixth First Minister sworn in at the Court of Session


Mar 29, 2023

Humza Yousaf was sworn in by the Lord President as Scotland’s sixth First Minister and Keeper of the Scottish Seal, at the Court of Session this morning.

The Lord President, Lord Carloway, administered the official oath of office to the First Minister, as set out in the Promissory Oaths Act 1868, followed by the official oath and the oath of allegiance to him as Keeper of the Scottish Seal. The First Minister assented to all three by bowing his head.
First Minister Humza Yousaf taking the oath of office

The First Minister then signed the parchments in recognition of the oaths just taken.

The Lord President congratulated the First Minister on his election by the Parliament:

"First Minister, on behalf of the court, I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your election by the Parliament as First Minister of the Scottish Government.  The position of First Minister is one of the Great Offices of State. It is a great honour to hold that office, but it carries with it many arduous responsibilities. 

You said yesterday that you would stand up unequivocally for the Scottish Parliament and against any attempts to undermine devolution. The courts will continue to do their best to uphold the institutions of both Government and Parliament. In turn, it is the duty of the First Minister to uphold the independence of the judiciary and the legal system and professions generally. 

Although judicial decisions must, of course, be subject to public scrutiny, a successful democratic system can only survive if it is governed by the rule of law. It can only exist if the government affords adequate protection to the judiciary from unwarranted attack so that they can make their decisions, as the judicial oath requires, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.  

You also mentioned yesterday that Scotland would continue to be a positive, progressive voice on the world stage. That too involves ensuring the prominence of the rule of law as the principal protection for the individual against oppression of all kinds. 

In carrying out your pledge to work ambitiously for the Scotland of the future, we will work together, as we have done in the past, to improve upon our existing systems of civil, administrative and criminal justice. There are many projects currently under consideration.
Despite the burdens of office, I hope that your new role will give you great pleasure and fulfilment."