Current Members of the Commission
Our Chair is the Speaker of the House of Commons, although the Speaker takes no part in our proceedings. Our work is led by the Deputy Chair who is a Court of Session judge appointed by the Lord President of the Court of Session. The 2 other members are appointed by the Secretary of State for Scotland through a public appointments process. In addition, the Director General of Ordnance Survey and the Registrar General for Scotland help us as ex-officio Assessors. We are supported in our work by a small Secretariat.
The Honourable Lord Matthews (Hugh Matthews). Appointed from 1 January 2016 for a period of 3 years, and reappointed until 31 December 2021.
Lord Matthews was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in 2007, having served as a Temporary Judge since February 2004. After graduating LL.B (Hons) from the University of Glasgow, Lord Matthews undertook a legal apprenticeship with Messrs Jas Campbell and Co WS of Saltcoats. He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in July 1979, taking silk in 1992 and practised at the Bar until his appointment as a sheriff of Glasgow and Strathkelvin in January 1997. He was standing Junior Counsel to the Department of Employment in Scotland from June 1984 until March 1988, and served as an Advocate Depute from April 1988 until January 1993. Lord Matthews sat as a temporary sheriff from January 1993 until December 1996.
Paula Sharp - Appointed from 1 January 2011 for a period of 4 years, and reappointed until 31 December 2020.
Mrs Paula Sharp is a graduate of Cambridge University and started her career as a local authority accountant. Having reached senior management level in a large local authority, she became a management consultant, working first with one of the major firms and then in a self-employed capacity. Until her recent retirement she worked across the public sector in Scotland, specialising in local authority services, governance, research, both quantitative and qualitative, and data analysis. She has a range of volunteering experience both as a board member of housing associations and charities, including for two charities as chair, and as an adviser with Citizens’ Advice Scotland.
Ailsa Henderson - Appointed from February 2016 for a period of 4 years, and reappointed until 31 January 2024.
Ailsa Henderson is a Professor of Political Science and Head of the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh, where she teaches courses on research methods, quantitative analysis, UK and comparative politics. Her published research examines sub-state political behaviour, including voter turnout, political culture and civic engagement. She was previously Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto and was formerly Working Groups Chair of the Ontario Citizens' Assembly for Electoral Reform. She is currently Deputy Chair of the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland.