Patricia Scotland was born in Dominica in 1956, and arrived in Britain at the age of 2 along with 10 other siblings. As she grew she took a liking for dance and wanted to be a modern expressionist ballet dancer at 16. She later attended university and distinguished herself as a lawyer before entering the political arena in 1977, where she was called to the bar and served two terms of government for Labour firstly in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as Foreign Office Minister working for the home department at the Lord Chancellor's Office. There she is effectively number two to Lord Irvine of Largs and the lead minister on immigration and asylum matters, legal aid, legal services and the development of Civil Law in the UK
In 1991 she made legal history becoming the first black female QC (Queens Counsel) at the age of 35. She was made a bencher of the Middle Temple in 1997, becoming a judge in 1999, and raised to the Privy Council in 2001
She is also a member of the bar in Antigua and Dominica. In 1997 she was created a peer as Baroness Scotland of Asthal, in the County of Oxfordshire. The Baroness is considered to be a rising star in the Tony Blair administration that is impeccably well connected, being close to two of Prime Portrait in The National Minister Blair's Gallery confidants: Charles Falconer (Britain's Solicitor General) and Derry Irvine (Lord Chancellor).
Baroness Scotland has received numerous awards and commendations including an honorary degree from the University of Westminster for services to law, government, social justice and International affairs. Among her other accomplishments: Chair of HMG Caribbean Advisory Group; Dominican Representative of the Council of British Commonwealth Ex-Services League; Member of the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship; Member of the BBC World Service Consultative Group Lifeline (Trinidad & Tobago); Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, Member of The Millennium Commission; Patron of the Women and Children's Welfare Fund. She has specialized in family and public law and has chaired and represented parties in a number of major inquiries relating to Child Abuse, Mental Health and Housing.