07 October '10
Remember George Bathurst-Norman, the retired judge who this summer at Hove Crown Court, after an 87-page summing up containing a tirade about Israel's counter-terrorism operations in Gaza, presided over the acquittal of anti-Israel protesters who had smashed up a Brighton armaments factory suspected of supplying Israel and who had claimed as their defence the principle that they were breaking the law in order to prevent a greater breach of law (i.e. by Israel)? Well, the old gentleman has been formally reprimanded by the two most senior law officers in the realm, the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice.
In a statement released a few hours ago, a spokesperson for the Office for Judicial Complaints said:
“At short notice, the judge assigned to try a politically sensitive trial at Hove Crown Court on 28 and 29 June 2010 was unable to sit. To avoid an adjournment, His Honour Bathurst-Norman agreed to replace to him.(Read full post)
A number of complaints were made about some of the observations he made during the trial and summing up. An investigation found that a number of these observations 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.
The Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice considered the conclusions of the investigation and H[is] H[onour] Bathurst-Norman was formally reprimanded.”
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