'Smash EDO' takes a Bath?


By Isca Stieglitz
October 7, 2010
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Thought some of you might be interested in the outcome of the complaints made against Lord Bathurst-Norman re: his summing up on the 'EDO case' in Hove.
I made my thoughts clear at the time.

Dear Ms. Goldfinch,

Complaint against His Honour Bathurst-Norman
I am writing on behalf of the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice to inform you of their decision in relation to your complaint against His Honour Bathurst-Norman.

You complained that the Judge’s comments during his summing up to the jury displayed a personal bias, that he was not impartial and that he swayed the jury improperly.

A number of complaints were received on this matter and the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice have decided that they should be resolved in accordance with Regulation 26(1)(e)(i) of the Judicial Discipline (Prescribed Procedures) Regulations 2006 (as amended) on the basis that the complaints are substantiated wholly or in part. The Lord Chief Justice has exercised his disciplinary powers and, with the agreement of the Lord Chancellor, has issued the Judge with a formal reprimand. They found that a number of observations made during the summing up did not arise directly from the evidence at trial and could be seen as an expression of the judge's personal views on a political question. This was an error.

In coming to this decision the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice have considered the details of the complaints made, the comments of His Honour Bathurst-Norman and the advice of the Nominated Judge. The decision does not affect nor seek to comment upon the outcome of the trial and the verdict reached by the jury in the case.

COMMENTS

Jonathan Hoffman

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 12:11

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As a result of this politically biased Judge, thousands of taxpayer pounds have been wasted and the criminals who vandalised the EDO factory walked away scot free. Let the disgracing of this Judge be a lesson to any other Judges who similarly encourage the delegitimisation of Israel. The Judge or magistrate who tries the case of the vandals who committed aggravated trespass at the Ahava shop in London on Saturday must punish them with the full force of the law.


mattpryor

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 12:31

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Thanks for posting this Isca, and I'm glad that the powers that be "got it".


Isca Stieglitz

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 12:36

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It certainly brings into question the verdict itself now that we have it affirmed that the judge showed personal bias in directing the jury.

My next question is how much national publicity will this get?!


Isca Stieglitz

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 14:28

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Calling HappyGoldfish!

Do you know if EDO could 'appeal' the judgement to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division?


telegramsam

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 14:37

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Probably not, Isca.

The decision does not affect nor seek to comment upon the outcome of the trial and the verdict reached by the jury in the case.

And Bathhurst Norman is only a part-time judge, so I think it doesn't impact much on him either.


Isca Stieglitz

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 14:56

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Cheers T'sam and 'bumz'!

Not 'bumz' to you. I'm annoyed, not at the possibly 'sincere' motives of the activists, (though who knows what anyone truly thinks), but at the fact that 'lawful excuse' was already being used and the verdict not reached souly on that.

The verdict may have been the same, but with the judge's direction now affirmed as biased, we may never know.


happygoldfish

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 14:58

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isca, an acquittal by a jury is final

in the rare cases where the prosecution can appeal, a successful appeal does not affect the acquittal, it only corrects the law for future trials


Yvetta

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 15:05

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Presumably this means that the "lawful defence" precedent set is no longer a precedent?


telegramsam

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 15:08

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Not necessarily, Yvetta. It means that judges need to be more careful when summing up, your honour.


Jon_i_Cohen

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 15:12

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My MP-Bob Blackman has been excellent in following this through on my behalf, I/we have a raft of correspondence from Lord McNally "the man at the top" in the Justice Deprtment.
Next, we are going for a re-trial.
Watch this space.


happygoldfish

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 15:24

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yvetta, for future judges and juries, it never was a precedent … only court of appeal decisions are precedents, trials such as this are not

however, for defence lawyers and protesters it will still unfortunately be a precedent … protesters want to stay on the right side of the law, so they very sensibly take legal advice beforehand, and a lawyer would be bound to point out that these protesters got away with it

there is now a much wider uncertainty in the law than is usual, so we can expect more such actions, until one results in a conviction and the law becomes settled once more

btw, there is an excellent summary of the legal position by joshua rozenberg at http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/node/3273 … particularly see the words of lord hoffman (no relation?) on the issue of reasonableness


Isca Stieglitz

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 15:25

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Cheers both.

Would this apply? Just being an anorak; it's been 25 years you know! Was there 'interference'/influence, from the judge, could his style when giving his direction/summation have been interpreted as intimidatory given his position?

Re-trial Following a Tainted Acquittal
Sections 54 - 57 of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 enable the High Court to make an order quashing an acquittal in circumstances where the acquittal resulted from interference with, or intimidation of, a juror or witness (or potential witness). In such circumstances, an acquitted person can be re-tried for the original offence.

the court before which that person was convicted, "certifies" in accordance with section 54(2) of the Criminal Procedures and Investigations Act 1996 that there is a real possibility that the acquittal resulted from the interference or intimidation; and

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/retrials/


telegramsam

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 15:36

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Isca, I think by "interference or intimidation", the 1996 Act means good, old-fashioned jury nobbling or threatening witnesses, not a judge's summing up.


stephenb

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 15:48

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The law is " settled " lawful excuse is a defence. The outcome of a particular case doesnt change anything,any more than an aquittal or conviction for murder based on the evidence heard changes the law as to murder.

And this case was a long way from being the first of its kind. To the best of my knowledge the first time " lawful excuse " " acting to prevent a greater crime "
was successfully pleaded in this kind of case was in the 90's when a group of women broke into a british aerospace facility and destroyed a hawk jet destined to be used by the indonesians in their genocidal campaign against east timor. Since then it has been successfully pleaded several times in these kind of cases.e.g. the raython 9 case.


stephenb

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 15:55

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Raytheon 9


amber

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 17:58

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Three cheers for Jonathan and Isca (and everyone else) for complaining. This joke of a judge should no longer hold such a privileged position. He is clearly incapable of separating his own poisonous views from his professional judgement.


stephenb

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 18:10

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good grief the guy got the mildest rebuke for a couple of
sentences in what must have been what a three hour summing up ? and hes retired and doubtless doesnt give a flying chit and the aquitted defendants could care even less and you all go into Delphic like ecstacy.

I bet it will be fun to be around you when Hull City win the cup


amber

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 18:19

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stephenb is a racist. He must go.


Isca Stieglitz

Fri, 10/08/2010 - 08:49

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@Amber - cheers. I read Jonathan's post and responded to it after having read the transcript for myself. It's only a small thing in the scheme of things, but needed addressing.

@T'sam - 'bumz' again! Hey, it was worth a punt ;O)


Yvetta

Fri, 10/08/2010 - 16:48

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Thanks, sam and happy, for clarifying the "precedent" angle for me.

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