First Minister swearing in ceremony

Published: 08 May 2024

On 8 May 2024 the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, Jennifer Henderson congratulated John Swinney on his election as Scotland’s seventh First Minister at his swearing in ceremony at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The ceremony is overseen by the Lord President of the Court of Session and senior judges. As Deputy Keeper of the Scottish Seal, Jennifer has a statutory role and is required to attend the ceremony alongside the Seal.

John Swinney will take an oath of allegiance, as set out in the Promissory Oaths Act 1868, promising to serve the monarch throughout his time in office, and then sign a parchment, officially confirming his position. In practice it means that the First Minister can lead the country with the support of the Scottish Parliament.

As First Minister, John Swinney also holds the title of Keeper of the Scottish Seal, which is also known as the Great Seal.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Jennifer said:

In my role as Deputy Keeper of the Great Seal, I play a small but important part during the swearing in ceremony for new First Ministers. I look forward to supporting the Lord President of the Court of Session as part of my statutory duties as we welcome John Swinney MSP to his new role.