Posted Thursday, November 8, 2001

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Mr Justice Gray . . . denies being influenced by the media coverage.

The Times

London, Tuesday November 6, 2001



GrayJudge sees merit in trial without jury

By Frances Gibb
Legal Editor

  [BBC link]

THE judge who presided over the David Irving libel case has spoken about the "daunting" experience of a trial conducted under intense media scrutiny.

Mr Justice Gray, who ruled that David Irving was a pro-Nazi polemicist and a Holocaust denier after a lengthy libel trial last year, says it was an advantage not having a jury, and denies being influenced by the media coverage.

The judge, who breaks new ground in talking about a case on which he sat recently, says that a jury might have found the issues too complex.

"I don't want to sound like I'm being condescending, but for 12 amateurs to wrestle with a huge number of documents, focus through on the points that they were ultimately going to be asked to decide, and they were very numerous ... would, I think, have been beyond the powers of any 12 men and women."

Another advantage, he says, is that with trial by a judge reasons are given for the verdict.

"There are advantages in having a judge decide cases," he says on a [BBC] Radio 4 documentary to be broadcast on Thursday. "You get a reasoned judgment, which you don't with a jury. Juries don't give reasons for their decisions."

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  Judge to discuss his ruling in radio show | BBC link
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