Lord Janner to be charged following successful ‘appeal’

Lord Janner to be charged following successful ‘appeal’

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Introduction

We have looked at the case of Lord Janner after it was announced in April that he wouldn’t be charged with historic sex abuse (you can see a personal comment here), saying how the CPS decision appeared to be correct.

Well, on 29th June 2015 (after much speculation in the papers) it was confirmed that Lord Janner would now be charged.

 

What is the appeal process?

It’s called the Victims Right to Review. You can find an overview of the procedure as planned here, as well as some more detail of the current scheme here.

Briefly, someone dissatisfied with a prosecutorial decision can ask that the decision is looked at again. That is what has happened here.

 

What happens next?

The case starts as every case does – Lord Janner will be charged and taken to the Magistrates’ Court. The case will end up in the Crown Court where there will either be a trial, if he is found fit to plead, or a ‘trial of issue’ if he is not.

We have a factsheet on Fitness to Plead, which gives an overview of the procedure. We will shortly have a factsheet of what happens on a Trial of Issue.

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Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.

1 COMMENT

  1. I understand that the authorities are suggesting a “trial of the facts” approach which would mean Janner would not be required to appear and potentially give evidence in his defence.

    It seems to me that this would actually be a “trial of unsubstantiated allegations” with a parade of people being allowed to say whatever they wanted and no defence against it, except perhaps a rebuttal from a barrister.

    We have seen in previous cases, after the case has finished, that X was found guilty of an assault sometime between 1978 and 1981. Surely it can’t be that loose and the accuser must have to say when exactly it happened ? A cursory look at the allegations made against Jim Davidson shows the vivid imagination of some of these accusers and when these dates were challenged it was clear he could not possibly have done it. It seems to me that these historical cases are fraught with problems.

    All very unsatisfactory I’m afraid. If he is truly not fit to stand trial then, much as it pains me to say it, then it’s best to leave it al together. For me justice is only valid if you can defend yourself.

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