Day 118 - 01 May 95 - Page 02
1 Monday, 1st May, 1995.
3 MR. RAMPTON: Before the cross-examination begins, I wish to
4 address some words to your Lordship about the course that
5 the defendants have taken in ensuring that we got this
6 wodge of papers by post this morning. It means, of course,
7 that I have not looked at them and Mr. Nicholson has not
8 looked at them. What I ask your Lordship to rule is that
9 the Defendants be debarred from making any reference to any
10 of these documents until such time as I am able to indicate
11 to your Lordship that Mr. Nicholson is in a position to
12 deal with them, if any question should be asked about them.
14 My Lord, I feel unhappy and concerned at the way in which
15 the Defendants have, I would say, played fast and loose
16 both with the Plaintiffs and their witnesses but, so far
17 as your Lordship is concerned, also with the time of the
18 court, and with the interests of other litigants who are
19 waiting to have their cases tried.
21 My Lord, I will, if I may, take a couple of minutes to
22 explain why we are as unhappy as we are. Your Lordship
23 will remember that last term the Defendants were very
24 anxious that they should have as much time as possible to
25 prepare for the cross-examination of Mr. Nicholson and for
26 the continued cross-examination of Mr. Beavers. They
27 persuaded your Lordship, with not much difficulty, not to
28 sit for the last three days of last term, which is, 10th to
29 12th of April. They persuaded me, again without much
30 difficulty, not to examine Mr. Nicholson about the issue of
31 the publication.
33 They told your Lordship that they needed as much time as
34 they possibly could in order to prepare for the
35 cross-examination of Mr. Nicholson and Mr. Beavers.
36 Ms. Steel told your Lordship on at least two occasions that
37 she needed time to read the pink files which bore upon the
38 question of employment. My Lord, the references for the
39 Defendants' concern about having enough time to prepare are
40 28th March, which is day 109 at pages 29, 30, 32 and 33,
41 and 29th March which is day 110, page 25 and 26.
43 My Lord, in the result, we did not sit for nearly three
44 weeks from 7th April through to midday on 26th inclusive.
45 My Lord, your Lordship said (and I have every sympathy with
46 it) that the Defendants should take some time off from the
47 case, a rest, a break away, but, in effect, indicated they
48 should be ready to cross-examine Mr. Nicholson when they
49 came back.
51 We know that they spent five to six days in Illinois
52 staging demonstrations for the benefit of Australian
53 television. That does not matter, it does not bother me in
54 the slightest, were it not for the fact it is now perfectly
55 apparent they have done nothing at all to prepare for the
56 cross-examination of Mr. Nicholson.
58 I say that for good reason. On Thursday last, day 117,
59 27th April, your Lordship invited Mr. Morris whether he
60 wanted to ask some preliminary questions of Mr. Nicholson.