A High Court judge will consider whether it was unlawful to order dementia sufferer and former Leicester West MP Lord Janner to appear in court in person to face child sex charges.
Lawyers acting for the former Labour peer and MP told Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London that their application has been listed “urgently” before a judge and is likely to be heard either on Wednesday or Thursday.
Senior District Judge Howard Riddle, the chief magistrate, ruled last week that Janner must attend the magistrates’ court on Friday to face 22 charges spanning a period from the 1960s to the 1980s.
Last Friday the 87-year-old’s lawyers said he was too ill to attend the court for a first hearing in the case and argued he may suffer a “catastrophic reaction” if made to appear in future.
Paul Ozin, representing Janner, told the court that ordering his client to attend the hearing in person would cause him “considerable distress and harm” which would violate his rights under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.
“We have heard medical evidence that Lord Janner is a particularly vulnerable person likely to suffer an extreme reaction to an environment which is unfamiliar,” he said.
“Steps taken to get Lord Janner to court would undoubtedly cause distress for Lord Janner‘s family … which would be wholly unnecessary if the High Court concludes the decision of this court is unlawful.”
Arguing that Friday’s hearing should be adjourned for at least a week to await the High Court decision, he added: “We would submit having the case listed for Friday is not the most sensible way to deal with the matter.”