Feb. 9, 2014
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the lawyer Dame Elish Angiolini. The first woman to become both Scotland's Solicitor General and Lord Advocate she's currently principal of St Hugh's College Oxford. It's a long way from Govan where her father heaved bags of coal round the streets and there wasn't always money for the meter. She was the youngest of four and by her own admission being "gabby" was the only way she got heard. It's an early skill that seems to have served her pretty well - in the legal establishment she gained a reputation as a gutsy moderniser, unafraid to challenge the system. Among her innovations a pioneering support scheme for vulnerable victims and establishing the National Crimes Sex Unit for Scotland - the first of its kind in Europe. Her predisposition to seeing things from the victim's point of view might have something to do with her own experience - in 1984 she was badly injured in a rail disaster that killed 13 others - including the two men sitting opposite her. She says "... Advocacy is a great life skill. If you go to your bank manager asking for an overdraft, or if you barter at a market, you are employing advocacy skills. It is all about empathy and charisma." Producer: Paula McGinley.