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Top judge moves aside after Quick scandal

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Top judge moves aside after Quick scandal
09:29 CET+01:00
Swedish Supreme Court judge Göran Lambertz is moving to a new role following a week in which he came in for heavy criticism over his handling of a case of once self-confessed cannibal Thomas Quick.

Lambertz will start work with the Swedish council on legislation (lagrådet) on December 9th and will no longer serve on the Supreme Court next year. 

His Supreme Court colleague Stefan Lindskog told Aftonbladet that the move was unconnected to the storm of criticism which Lambertz received over the Quick case and said that the switch had been planned for months.

"It has no connection with the case, Göran was due to start with the council on legislation in August," Lindskog told the newspaper.

Calls for Lambertz's resignation from Sweden's highest court were made after he was slated for his stance in the Thomas Quick trial. In 2006, when he was Justice Chancellor, Lambertz concluded that there was no reason to launch a probe into criminal negligence for how the case was handled.

Quick, now going by the name Sture Burgewall, originally confessed to a string of murders in the 70s and 80s. He was convicted of eight of them but later retracted his confession, arguing he was heavily medicated, and has since been acquitted of all murders.

Lambertz was slammed by Anders Alenskär, chair of the courts section of the legal professionals union Jusek, who said he was "ashamed" of the Supreme Court judge and branded him as "ignorant" and "unreliable" and suggested he should stand down.

Following the criticism Lambertz was called in for a meeting with the President of the Supreme Court Marianne Lundius on Friday.

"I told him that he must consider what impact this has on the Supreme Court and the judicial system as a whole," she told the TT news agency following the meeting.

Lambertz had irritated legal professionals by defending his 2006 stance and insisted he had no plans to resign from the Supreme Court.

However, the decision now appears to have been taken for him and he declined to elaborate on his new position when asked by reporters about the move.

"It will be interesting to read how you speculate about this," Lambertz told Aftonbladet where he confirmed he will start his new job on December 9th.

The Swedish Council on Legislation forms part of the legislative consultation process. Its role is to pronounce on the legal validity of legislative proposals at the request of the Government or a parliamentary standing committee.

The body is mainly composed of judges drawn from the Supreme Court (Högsta Domstolen) and Supreme Administrative Court (Kammarrätten).  

The Local/pr 

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