A case which has dominated the close-knit Gibraltar legal community concerning the dismissal of case Gibraltar Chief Justice, Derek Schofield – The Case of Chief Justice of Gibraltar v Government of Gibraltar (No. 77 of 2008) – was heard before the Privy Council today.

Michael Beloff QC of Blackstone Chambers is acting for Derek Schofield, defending him following complaints about the way in which he was discharging his duties. Opposing him is his Blackstone colleague James Eadie QC, the “treasury devil”, acting for the Gibraltar Government in seeking his dismissal.

The dispute arose as a result of Schofield’s reaction to reforms that stripped him of many of his responsibilties, leading to – amongst other things – complaints about Schofield from leading Gibraltar law firms and defamation proceedings between Schofield’s wife and the Gibraltar Bar Council.

Decisions on the removal of judges are rare, and the case is deemed important enough to warrant a seven-strong panel, with Lords Judge, Phillips, Hope, Rodger, Brown and Clarke, and Baroness Hale sitting.

See press comment in The Lawyer and the Gibraltar Chronicle.

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