A SCOTTISH sheriff is to be stripped of his position by First Minister John Swinney after being found unfit to hold the office.

It comes after a tribunal investigated whether Sheriff Jack Brown was fit to hold his office after various allegations from multiple women about his conduct.

Among others, one said he had kissed her on the lips and “squeezed her buttocks" without consent in two incidents in an unnamed court. The tribunal found “no good reason to question” the woman’s evidence.

Colin Campbell, the chair of the tribunal who is known as “Lord Malcolm”, concluded: “In our unanimous view [Brown’s] misbehaviour renders him unfit for judicial office and we report accordingly.”

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The First Minister has laid an order before the Scottish Parliament that will remove Brown from office on June 7, 2024.

Brown currently sits in the Sheriffdom of Grampian, Highland and Islands – one of six in Scotland.

Sheriffs in Scotland oversee and rule on cases before Sheriff Courts, which can be civil cases of value up to £100,000 or criminal cases for allegations which are not treason, murder, and rape. For less serious cases a sheriff may rule alone, while in more serious cases a jury also sits.

In order to become a sheriff, a person must be “an advocate or solicitor in Scotland for a continuous period of at least ten years immediately preceding the appointment”, according to the Judiciary of Scotland.

The National: John Swinney at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA)

First Minister Swinney (above) said: “Given the nature and gravity of the tribunal’s findings, there are compelling reasons to remove Sheriff Brown.

“The tribunal has reported serious concerns as to his character and integrity, contrary to the standards of conduct and probity expected of anyone holding judicial office.”

Brown was first reported to a tribunal by Nicola Sturgeon in 2018, during her time as first minister.

In March 2021, the tribunal concluded that whilst Sheriff Brown acted inappropriately, he was not unfit to hold judicial office.

A petition for Judicial Review was lodged and, in February 2022, the tribunal’s decision was quashed by the Court of Session on the basis that the tribunal had proceeded in ignorance of the availability of other evidence from other witnesses.

A fresh tribunal was convened in September 2022 and reported in March 2024.