Patricia Scotland Biography

Patricia Janet Scotland, Baroness Scotland of Asthal, PC, KC, was born on August 19, 1955. She is a British diplomat, lawyer, and politician who is the sixth secretary-general of the Commonwealth of Nations. She was chosen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2015, and she started her job on April 1, 2016. She is the first woman to hold the job. She was made a member of the House of Lords in 1997. As a British Labour Party politician, she worked in the UK government as a minister, most notably as the Attorney General for England and Wales and the Advocate General for Northern Ireland. She has citizenship in both the UK and in Dominica, where she was born.


Early life and career 

Scotland was born on August 19, 1955, in Dominica. He was the 10th of 12 children born to a Dominican mother and an Antiguan father, both of whom were Roman Catholic. When she was just two years old, her family moved to Walthamstow, which is in north-east London. There, she went to Chapel End Primary School and Walthamstow School for Girls. She then went to Mid Essex Technical College in Chelmsford, where she got a Bachelor of Laws as an external student from the University of London. [needs citation] She was admitted to the Middle Temple bar in 1977, where she specialized in family law. In 1978, she was admitted to the Dominican bar.



Scotland was the first black woman to be named a Queen’s Counsel. This happened in 1991. She went on to start the 1 Gray’s Inn Square barristers chambers, which are no longer open. She was chosen as a Bencher of the Middle Temple at the beginning of 1997. On February 17, 1994, Scotland was named a Millennium Commissioner and joined the Commission for Racial Equality. She was made Baroness Scotland of Asthal, of Asthal in the County of Oxfordshire on October 30, 1997. This was based on a Labour Party list of working peers.


Scotland has been named Peer of the Year by Channel 4, The House magazine, Parliamentarian of the Year by the Spectator, and the Political Studies Association, and has won a number of other awards for her work on law reform in the UK and abroad.

In 2005, the University of East London gave a degree of honor to Scotland.

Scotland has also been named the most influential Black Briton in the annual “Powerlist.” In 2010, 2007, and 2008, when the list had separate rankings for men and women, Scotland was first on the list of men.

In 2003, Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro, said that Scotland was a Dame of Merit with Star of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George and gave it to Scotland. In 2014, she was made a Dame Grand Cross of Merit and put on the Council of the British and Irish Delegation of the Constantinian Order.

She was put in charge of the University of Greenwich on January 1, 2014.

She was one of the BBC’s 100 Women in 2015.

Personal life 

Scotland lives in London and Asthal with her two sons and her husband, Richard Mawhinney, who is also a lawyer.


Matthew Mawhinney, who is from Scotland, has been on the reality show Too Hot to Handle. In 2021, he was arrested and fined for mistreating cabin crew on a British Airways flight. When he wasn’t given alcohol, he yelled, “Look up who my mom is—Baroness Scotland—go get me a drink!”


The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC is the sixth Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. She was born in Dominica, and at the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta, she was their candidate for the job.