Litigation Recent Decisions 02/07/96

Reviewing Lord Chancellor's appointment of a judge

R v Lord Chancellor, ex parte Maxwell (1996).

DC (Henry LJ and Sachs J) 19/6/96.

Summary: Challenging by judicial review the Lord Chancellor's refusal to request the trial judge who had presided over the trial of earlier counts in a severed indictment to preside over the trial of the remaining counts in the Crown Court notwithstanding that judge's elevation as a Lord Justice of Appeal.

Application for judicial review of the Lord Chancellor's decision not to request, under s.9 Supreme Court Act 1981, Lord Justice Phillips to act as a judge of the Crown Court for the purpose of presiding over the disposal of the remaining stages of the criminal case against the applicant and others under Indictment No.T 930798. The applicant contended that as the case was "part heard" under s.7 (1) Criminal Justice Act 1987 and that having ordered a preparatory hearing in relation to the trial of the indictment, the judge was thereafter bound to preside over the trial of all counts on that indictment in the absence of exceptional circumstances such as ill-health.