The Law Society of Scotland has paid tribute to Kenny MacAskill, who has left his justice secretary post after seven years.
President Alistair Morris said the Edinburgh Eastern MSP – famous for releasing the Lockerbie bomber – had made an “enormous contribution” towards the legal profession and the justice system as a whole.
“Kenny MacAskill’s time in office has resulted in major reforms to civil and criminal law, changes to the structure and administration of our courts and a fundamental reorganisation of our police force,” he said.
“Whilst we did not agree with him on everything, Kenny MacAskill was always prepared to listen, to discuss and to engage.
“He not only understood the workings of our justice system but had a profound appreciation for the importance of that system in delivering a fair and just society.”
Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said it was looking forward to working with new Education Secretary Angela Constance.
“She takes up her post at a critical time for the education service in Scotland,” he added.
“Teachers are committed to doing their best for the children and young people they teach, but to do this they need pay and working conditions which recognise and reward them as highly skilled professionals and which enable them to focus on teaching and learning.”
EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan paid tribute to the work of former education secretary Mike Russell.
“While we did not always agree with Mr Russell on all issues, we were always able to engage in meaningful and constructive dialogue during his time as cabinet secretary,” he added.
Royal College of Nursing Scotland director Theresa Fyffe said new Health Secretary Shona Robison would have to “hit the ground running” to address NHS staff pressures.
She added that the minister would have to lead an “honest” public debate about how the NHS could be put on a sustainable footing for the future.