Orams Case: Friday 13th November


Friday 13th November 2009 – am

What follows here is an account by an observer at the Court of Appeal today.  The focus of the case is now on the matters of Public Policy and the alleged bias by Mr Skouris and whether there should or shouldn’t be a referral back to the ECJ.

The whole approach of the Appeal Court is non-confrontational and there were really few interruptions other than from the judges. Each QC was being allowed to present a case and the judges would ask for further reasoning on the points. When they did this the judges would make further comments, sometimes agreeing with interpretations being presented, at other times not agreeing and in other ways giving clues as to which way they were leaning on the legal points being raised. The result is that you can make a pretty informed guess as to where this is heading.

Mr A started by objecting again to the late application and service of papers and refers to as an example a letter from Talat regarding the effect this case would have on the peace process. A letter that could have been introduced as early as the High Court case before Justice Jack but wasn’t. The Second judge agrees.

Mr A goes on with public policy where he says there is ” no GB domestic policy to the effect” ….and if there had been there would be a reference to it in the ECJ opinion. He goes on to say that the same material line was followed by the Orams in the last (High Court) case. He says “it didn’t strike anyone that it was a runnable argument. ” He accuses the Orams of “legal ingenuity” …. “unacceptable in the administration of justice” .

On the matter of statements by the EC Commission, he quotes the Commission that such cases …. “may be prejudicial to the talks”. .. but emphasises the “may” part and noted that the ECJ considered and rejected this argument.

Mr A carries on with a lot of references to show that the ECJ had considered this public policy issue.

Mr A turned to the claim made by the Cherie Booth yesterday in which she claimed the Orams had acted in “good faith” when they purchased to which he referred to the Orams testimony at the High Court under cross-examination when they conceded they hadn’t acted in this way. Mr A says on this ….”the Orams knew they were taking a risk. ”

More to follow.

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