IT'S TROUBLE DUTCH; Foreign Lawyers Try to Get Judge Banned

By McILWRAITH, Gordon | Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), March 7, 2000 | Go to article overview

IT'S TROUBLE DUTCH; Foreign Lawyers Try to Get Judge Banned


McILWRAITH, Gordon, Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)


FOUR foreign lawyers yesterday brought a Scottish court to a halt.

In the latest farce to hit Scots justice, the group accused a trio of top judges of being biased and forced the adjournment of a high- profile case.

Their legal wrangling once again saw the reputation of the country's once-respected legal system held up to international ridicule.

The lawyers objected to Lord McCluskey and colleagues hearing a case as he had once voiced concern over European Human Rights laws.

The lawyers - Han Jahae, Dr Jan Sjocrona, Cees Van Bavel and Jurjen Pen - are representing four of their countrymen in their appeal against hefty jail sentences for drug smuggling.

But they tried to usurp the proceedings by suggesting the three appeal judges might be biased against European laws.

They called on them to be banned from hearing any more of the case because of Lord McCluskey's outspoken views on Human Rights laws.

And they also claimed the senior judges' two colleagues should also go because they might be "infected" by his opinions.

The briefs - the first foreign lawyers to appear before a Scottish court - even insisted that other judges should decide the surprise disqualification issue.

The move was made midway through a complex appeal which has already cost the taxpayers thousands of pounds in legal aid fees.

Lord McCluskey warned 14 years ago that the European Convention on Human Rights would be "a field day for lawyers, a pain in the neck for judges and a goldmine for lawyers".

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