It is normal procedure that a person whom the CPS have brought charges against should attend court and I think it is correct that Westminster Magistrates will compel Lord Janner to attend and hear the charges read out even if this is the only occasion that he does attend court. It is only right that Lord Janner be treated in exactly the same way anyone else would be.
There isn’t much more to add but I thought I’d just remark on what seems like a common misconception regarding the legal process that has now been embarked upon. There appears to be a presumption that there will be, what is known as, a ‘Trial of the Facts’. One small note of caution should be raised here. Although a ‘Trial of the Facts’ would appear to be the most likely outcome of the current legal process, it will be for the Judge when the case reaches a Crown Court to make the decision to have a ‘Trial of the Facts’ if Lord Janner is found to be unfit to plead. The controversy surrounding the original decision by DPP Alison Saunders not to proceed with a prosecution was that given the police evidence it was not her decision to make that Janner was unfit to plead but a Judge’s.
Though I believe this outcome would be extremely unlikely, it is possible that the trial Judge might come to the same conclusion as Alison Saunders had and decide that a ‘Trial of the Facts’ does not serve justice.
As I’ve written, I really do not think that a judge would come to that decision under the current circumstances as it would be vehemently criticised in many quarters, I only mention it as there seems to be a presumption that a ‘Trial of the Facts’ is inevitable when it is not necessarily the case and it is as important as it ever was that interested parties keep a very close eye on this process and presume nothing.
Lord Janner must appear at court in person for a hearing over child sex abuse charges, Westminster Magistrates’ Court has ruled.
The former Labour peer, 87, who has dementia, denies allegations of abuse in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
He did not attend court on Friday, and his defence said he was “unfit” to appear.
The case is likely to be sent to a crown court, which will decide whether Lord Janner is fit to face a trial.
The case comes after a review overturned a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decision not to bring charges because of his health.