A BID to give Holyrood the power to radically alter and “modernise” the role of Scotland’s top law officer will be launched today.

SNP MP Joanna Cherry KC will introduce a bill to the House of Commons which would give MSPs the ability to amend the role of the Lord Advocate, who as well as being the Scottish Government’s top law officers is also in charge of prosecutions.

The 10-minute rule bill, if passed, would enable the role of the Lord Advocate to be split into two separate jobs - public prosecutor and government legal adviser.

Currently the Lord Advocate’s role as both head of the systems of criminal prosecution and investigation of deaths in Scotland cannot be modified under Section 29 of the Scotland Act.

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The SNP manifesto of 2021 pledged to consult on whether the “dual functions of the Law Officers, as head of the independent prosecution service and principle legal advisers to the Scottish Government should be separated".

Cherry said: “The role and function of Scotland’s chief law officer is reserved to Westminster.

"The straitjacket of the Scotland Act has prevented the Scottish Parliament from modernising the post, as it might have done since 1999, by splitting the dual roles of providing independent legal advice to the Government and that of head of the prosecution service in Scotland.

“This would avoid any conflict of interest whether real or perceived.

“All major political parties in Scotland have called for a review of the role of the Lord Advocate, there is widespread support for splitting the roles and I trust that my bill will have cross-party backing when it comes before the Commons today.”

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Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme earlier this week, Cherry said she did not intend criticism of the current Lord Advocate, Dorothy Bain, but there has long been concern about a potential conflict of interest in the two parts of the job.

She said a number of events in recent years have exposed the tension in the role, including the investigation into Alex Salmond, the Rangers malicious prosecution scandal and the ongoing police investigation into the SNP’s finances.

She said: “Because of reservations in the Scotland Act, it’s not open to the Scottish Parliament to create a new law officer or a new public prosecutor.

“There would have to be devolution of the power from Westminster to Holyrood to do that.

“That’s what my 10-minute rule private member’s bill is designed to do.”