Judge suggests cruise ships could be used for jury trials

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Judge suggests cruise ships could be used for jury trials
Cruise ships off Weymouth coast Credit: Twitter

A JUDGE in Northern Ireland has suggested that with so many cruise ships moored off the south coast of England, it should be possible to move some to Ulster for use in trials of more than one defendant.

During a sitting of Derry Crown Court in Colerain, Judge Philip Babington made the suggestion as so many cases including those due to go to trial were being postponed because of the pandemic and the fear of cross-infection.

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He told barristers for both prosecution and defence appearing online that there wasn’t a single court building in Northern Ireland that could be used to deal with a jury trial involving more than one defendant.

“There is no way I nor anyone else can list a case to be heard anywhere in Northern Ireland which involves more than one defendant. Like others, I am not best pleased with this situation but we are where we are”, he said according to the Belfast Telegraph.

As the Judge suggests cruise ships could be used for jury trials he appealed to the barristers if you have “any influence through the Bar Council to see whether we can get the courts to deal with multiple defendant cases, it would be of great assistance”.


He went on to say “In all seriousness, there is a serious problem here which the Court Service will somehow have to attempt to resolve. Hopefully, we will be updated on the situation on October 16.”

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