Cabinet Secretary for Justice

The Cabinet Secretary for Justice, commonly referred to as the Justice Secretary, is a position in the Scottish Government Cabinet. The Cabinet Secretary has overall responsibility for law and order in Scotland. The Cabinet Secretary is assisted by the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice
Rùnaire a 'Chaibineit airson Ceartas
Humza Yousaf MSP

since 26 June 2018
Justice Directorate
Member ofScottish Cabinet
AppointerFirst Minister of Scotland
PrecursorMinister for Justice
Inaugural holderJim Wallace MSP
DeputyMinister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs

The current Cabinet Secretary for Justice is Humza Yousaf, who was appointed in June 2018.


The position was created in 1999 as the Minister for Justice, with the advent of devolution and the institution of the Scottish Parliament, taking over some of the roles and functions of the former Scottish Office Minister of State for Home Affairs that existed prior to 1999.

As with the UK Secretary of State for Justice, but unlike some other justice ministers, the Cabinet Secretary does not have any oversight of prosecutions - in Scotland these are handled by the Lord Advocate.



The responsibilities of the Cabinet Secretary for Justice include: The Justice system, Criminal Law procedure, Civil law, Police, Fire and Rescue services, Legal profession, Violence reduction, Anti-sectarianism, Courts, Sentencing, Security, Human rights, Access to justice, Community safety, Anti-social behaviour, Prisons and prisoners, Female offenders, Criminal justice social work, Victims and witnesses, Reducing reoffending, Youth justice, Liquor licensing.

Public bodies

The following public bodies report to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice:


The Cabinet Secretary for Justice is paid a total salary of £106,290, which is made up of £60,685 for being a MSP, and an additional allowance of £45,605 for the responsibility of being a Cabinet Secretary.[1]

List of office holders

Minister for Justice

Name Portrait Entered office Left office Party First Minister
Jim Wallace 16 May 1999 20 May 2003 Liberal Democrats Donald Dewar
Henry McLeish
Jack McConnell
Cathy Jamieson 20 May 2003 16 May 2007 Labour Party Jack McConnell

Cabinet Secretary for Justice

Kenny MacAskill 16 May 2007 20 November 2014 Scottish National Party Alex Salmond
Michael Matheson 21 November 2014 26 June 2018 Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon
Humza Yousaf 26 June 2018 Incumbent Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon

See also


  1. "MSP and Office Holders Salaries" (PDF). The Scottish Parliament. 1 April 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
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