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  • Commonwealth Secretary-General Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC

    The Commonwealth Secretary-General is responsible for:

    • promoting and protecting the Commonwealth’s values
    • representing the Commonwealth publicly
    • the management of the Commonwealth Secretariat

Secretary-General Patricia Scotland

The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC is the 6th Commonwealth Secretary-General.

She was born in Dominica and was their candidate for the post at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta in 2015.

She is the 2nd Secretary-General from the Caribbean and the 1st woman to hold the post.


  • Patricia Janet Scotland was born on 19 August 1955 in Dominica
  • Moved to the UK with her family, growing up in east London
  • Trained as a lawyer and became the first black woman to be appointed a Queen’s Counsel (QC) in 1991. At 35 she was also the youngest woman ever to be made a QC
  • The first black woman to be appointed Deputy High Court Judge, Recorder and Master of Middle Temple
  • Joined the House of Lords in 1997 as Baroness Scotland of Asthal going on to serve as a minister in the Foreign Office, Home Office and Lord Chancellor’s Department
  • Undertook major reform of the criminal justice system, including the introduction of the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act
  • Appointed Attorney General in 2007 – the first women to hold the post since it was created in 1315
  • Founded the Eliminate Domestic Violence Global Foundation in 2011
  • Appointed Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to South Africa in 2012
  • Elected as the Alderman of Bishopsgate in the City of London in 2014

Other offices include:

  • Chancellor of the University of Greenwich
  • Patron of the Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence
  • Patron of Lifeline (Trinidad & Tobago)
  • Patron of the Caribbean Science Foundation

In the news

Climate crisis is a global human rights challenge Two men walking through Kampala, Uganda after a flood

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland today addressed the High Level Segment of the UN Human Rights Council’s 43rd Regular Session in Geneva.

Commonwealth cricket match will see legends bat for charity in Barbados

Cricket legends will play a ‘Peace at the Crease’ charity cricket match in Barbados on 17 October.

Commonwealth commitment to environment has deep roots Commonwealth Secretary-general Patricia Scotland at CHOGM park in Malaysia

Climate change will be high on the agenda when Commonwealth Heads of Government meet in Rwanda this year - more than three decades after their predecessors recognised the threat and drew up a visionary action plan to avert the crisis.

Commonwealth Secretary-General tells The Hague there can be no lasting peace without justice Commonwealth Secretary-general Patricia Scotland speaking at the International Criminal Court

Lasting peace and the prosperity that comes with it cannot be achieved without justice, the Commonwealth Secretary-General has declared, during a keynote speech in the Hague.

Commonwealth Secretary-General visits Gujarat Commonwealth Patricia Scotland talking to a man

On her visit to India, the Secretary-General travelled to the western state of Gujarat to pay her respects to two great leaders from Gujarat, Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel.

Commonwealth Secretary-General visits Uttar Pradesh Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland with a group of people at a school with children in India

On her visit to India, the Commonwealth Secretary-General travelled to the city of Gorakhpur in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. She took part in the launch of the Out of School Children Project, and attended the country’s first ever Sustainable Development Goals Choupal.