Judge In Pirate Bay Case Appears To Have Ties To The Copyright Lobby

from the ooops dept

Via Martin Thornkvist, we find out that Swedish Public radio has discovered that the judge in The Pirate Bay case apparently has some ties to the copyright lobby (that's a Google translation -- if you know Swedish, the original is here). Apparently, he's a member of a few organizations that work towards strengthening copyright laws, and even holds a board position in one of those organizations. The lawyers representing the entertainment industry also belonged to one of the pro-copyright organizations in which the judge is a member. Experts quoted in the article note that this is highly irregular, and the judge should have recused himself for conflict of interest. The judge, of course, claims that he doesn't believe he was biased at all, but others note that any hint of bias is a problem in such a legal case (let alone such a high profile one).

Filed Under: conflict of interest, copyright, copyright lobby, judge, sweden, trial
Companies: the pirate bay

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  1. identicon
    Jonas, 23 Apr 2009 @ 6:58am

    @Jim Blaich,

    "And can anyone explain why on earth these defendants chose a judge to render the verdict? Why didn't they go for a jury trial?"

    Because, to the best of my knowledge, a jury trial as it works in the U.S. is not possible in swedish courts. In criminal cases, the jury (even though it's not called that) is appointed not on a case-by-case basis. Instead, they are appointed by the local authorities for a period of time which is, IIRC, 4 years. In other words, an individual is not chosen to sit on jury by a kind of game-of-chance.

    Their duty is to aid the judge in determining both guilt and what sentence the accused will get if found guilty. The key-word here is aid: the judge can ignore the laymen's advice if he so chooses.

    Note: I am not a laywer, but that's how I was once taught it works. My understanding may be wrong, and it may have changed since then even if my understanding of it is right otherwise.

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