JUDGE Adrian Jack has become Gibraltar’s first top Supreme Court judge to not have his contract renewed, with one source calling the decision ‘very strange’.
The Rock’s most active judge gave his final judgment on Thursday, ruling an RBS manager was complicit in part of the £28 million swindling carried out by the Marrache brothers.
Australian-born Judge Jack said the bank had abetted the three convicted fraudsters in the theft of £9.8 million from online gaming millionaire Jim Magner, who said the brothers stole his money from 2007 to 2008.
It capped a remarkable three-year spell as Justice of the Supreme Court for Judge Jack, whose frank judgments in some of the Rock’s most controversial cases attracted huge attention.
“There is a feeling among people in the know that this is very strange that Judge Jack, who has shown himself to be utterly implacable, should not have had his contract renewed,” the source said.
“He has taken the lead in almost all the most complicated cases here and has shown himself completely immune to the cosy charms of the legal establishment in Gibraltar.
“How can you get rid of the judge who has done that? Why? Or maybe those are rhetorical questions.”
An RBS spokesperson said the bank is ‘naturally disappointed’ at Judge Jack’s 82-page judgment on Thursday and will ‘consider the judgment in detail before taking the next step’.
Judge Jack’s judgments over Isaac Marrache’s parole release in January this year sparked one of Gibraltar’s most intriguing legal sagas.
Initially ruling the convicted fraudster was ‘unlawfully at large’ following his release after serving two and a half years of a seven-year sentence, Judge Jack ordered Marrache back to prison.
Judge Jack said Marrache had shown no remorse for his crimes and expressed disbelief when it was revealed Marrache had a job offer in the USA to resume working in the legal profession.
In the following weeks, Minister for Justice Neil Costa took the extraordinary step of twice hiring the UK’s top QC, Lord Pannick, to fight Judge Jack’s judgment that Costa should not have discontinued his challenge to the Parole Board to release Marrache.
Costa eventually won his Court of Appeal against Jack’s ruling in May this year.
Suggestions that the work of the courts has declined in recent times and that that was the reason for Jack’s non-renewal have been laughed at in certain sectors.
“He is the most active judge we have ever had. So his early departure is a matter of concern,” the source added.
Last night, Freddie Vasquez QC, speaking on behalf of the Gibraltar Bar Council, paid tribute to Judge Jack’s ‘mini revolution’ in administering local justice and raising legal standards.
Speaking to a packed courtroom, Vasquez said Judge Jack’s stay had been ‘too short’ and said it was unclear why the government hadn’t extended his contract.
Judge Jack is responsible for 18 of 28 judgments available in Gibraltar Court Services.