What other choice?

The Director of Public Prosecutions has run into very heavy water. I have no doubt that she has taken the only realistic decision open to her in deciding not to proceed today against Lord Janner. What is necessary is some careful responsible sensitive support for the decision which makes sense to the public. I encourage responsible criminal lawyers to attempt to do so.

Why?  Because there are individuals deeply and profoundly distressed as a consequence of the decision.  You cannot expect everybody to applaud the strict application of fundamental principles when its consequences for identified victims are the continuation and even increase in long term appalling distress. That is why the idea of a judicial investigation by a very experienced retired High Court Judge may offer some alleviation of that terrible trauma.

Somehow reponsible individuals must explain that when any individual facing trial becomes seriously ill and or incapable of taking part in the trial process, the process of trial comes to an end in specific ways as a matter of course.  If Lord Janner had been ambulanced to a trial centre, his trial would not have taken place. I avoid setting out the legal routes which would have ensured that was the case. It just needs to be said that you cannot try anyone with serious dementia or for that matter, about to die in the predictable immediate future.  It is not in the public interest to seek to do otherwise.

I also hope that some one tries to explain that if there has been a cover up in the past, that cannot be the case today. This decision owes nothing to conspiracy and everything to the application of recognised principles. But the pain remains.

Nigel Pascoe QC

 

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