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Tuesday, January 12, 1999 Published at 18:15 GMT


Seven Law Lords hold key to Pinochet's fate

General Pinochet: Won right to new hearing

Seven Law Lords - Britain's most senior judges - will now have to decide on whether General Pinochet should face extradition to Spain.

Four of those judges were involved in setting aside an earlier ruling by the House of Lords to extradite the former Chilean leader.

The judges who will preside over the new appeal hearing later this month are:

Lord Browne-Wilkinson:
Aged 68, Lord Browne-Wilkinson is the most senior serving Law Lord, and has responsibility for deciding which judges hear appeals. In an indication of the sensitivities of links between judges and human rights organisations, he revealed in the hearing setting aside the original Pinochet decision that he is a governor of the British Institute of Human Rights.

Lord Hutton:
Aged 67, Lord Hutton started at the Northern Ireland bar. As a former Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland he was surrounded by tight security and would have been a high profile target for the IRA.

Lord Hope :
Aged 60, Lord Hope was Scotland's most senior judge before becoming a Law Lord, and is the senior Scottish judge among the Law Lords.

[ image: Lord Hoffman: Links with Amnesty International led to overturning of original verdict]
Lord Hoffman: Links with Amnesty International led to overturning of original verdict
Lord Goff:
Aged 72, Lord Goff is a former Scots Guard. He is a retired Law Lord who is eligible to sit on the panel hearing the Pinochet case.

Lord Millett:
Aged 66, Lord Millett is one of the highest ranking freemasons in the judicial system. He attacked plans for a register of lodge members working in the judiciary as an "invasion of privacy," and described freemasonry as a harmless pastime.

Lord Saville:
Aged 62, Lord Saville is also an outspoken opponent of a freemasons' register. As chairman of the enquiry into the events surrounding 'Bloody Sunday' in Londonderry in 1972, in which 14 people died after they were shot by paratroopers, he already faces an extremely sensitive task.

Lord Phillips:
Aged 60, Lord Phillips is currently chairing the BSE enquiry which is considering whether the previous government responded adequately to the spread of mad cow disease, and its implications for the civilian population. He won considerable praise for his handling of the Maxwell fraud trial.

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