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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.

Profile

  • 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

The hidden pandemic alongside COVID-19 Worried girl looking down on bench

As economies, institutions and social welfare sectors continue to buckle under the strain of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic crisis, there is a dangerous escalation in the risk to the millions of people caught in the clutches of domestic and gender-based violence. 

Commonwealth Secretary-General calls for urgent global response to coronavirus at World Health Assembly Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland

The Commonwealth’s Secretary-General has encouraged the international community to take urgent multilateral action to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. 

We must leverage the ‘Commonwealth Advantage’ to counter the economic fallout of COVID-19 Global transport

The world is bracing for a massive hit to the global economy in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Commonwealth collaboration to help fight coronavirus pandemic Secretary-General of Commonwealth speaking

Commonwealth accredited organisations have launched a range of activities to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

We should not go back to business as usual after coronavirus, says Secretary-General Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland

Today there is an eerie silence across the globe. Bustling cities have gone quiet and highways that were once jammed with bumper to bumper traffic, are empty.

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.