Maxwell attempt to select judge fails

Kevin Maxwell has lost his High Court attempt to select the judge for his second trial.

Mr Maxwell asked for a judicial review, claiming that Lord Justice Phillips, who presided over the trial when he and his brother Ian were cleared of involvement in the Mirror Group pension fund fraud, should hear the next trial.

But the High Court ruled yesterday that the Lord Chancellor had "correctly" chosen a second judge for next year's Old Bailey hearing following Lord Justice Phillips promotion to the Court of Appeal.

The second trial is likely to start in October 1997, according to legal sources, and is also likely to last longer than the first, which finished earlier this year after going on for eight months.

In their judgment yesterday Lord Justice Henry and Mr Justice Sachs commented that the bid by Kevin Maxwell had caused some "surprise" in judicial circles.

Mr Maxwell, who was not legally aided for the High Court hearing, still faces three charges of conspiracy to defraud.

The Law Lords conceded Lord Justice Phillips was "uniquely well placed" to act as the trial judge because of his prior knowledge of the complex fraud case. But they concluded the Lord Chancellor was within his rights to consider the "severe backlog" of work in the Court of Appeal where all judges were needed.

Lord Justice Henry said: "The Lord Chancellor approached the matter correctly, informed himself properly, consulted appropriately and reached a decision within the discretion accorded to him."

He added: "It seems to have come as some surprise to the profession that an administrative discretion relating to the deployment of judicial manpower could be the subject of such a challenge."

During the hearing Mr Alun Jones QC, representing Kevin, argued that technically the case against his client is ongoing and should therefore be heard by the same judge.

Mr Jones said: "It is our submission the appointment of a new judge is likely to cause additional delay and public expense in a notorious case that has already been protracted, arduous and expensive.

"It has caused enormous controversy over legal aid and prompted huge public concern about jury trials."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Admin Assistant

£12000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding Insurance Brokerag...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders