[On this date in 1998 the legal instrument that authorised the High Court of Justiciary to sit in the Netherlands to try the Lockerbie case, and prescribed the procedure to be followed by the court, was made by the Privy Council. The High Court of Justiciary (Proceedings in the Netherlands) (United Nations) Order 1998, SI 1998 No 2251 can be read here. Article 5 provides:]
… the Lord Justice Clerk shall appoint three Lords Commissioners of Justiciary to constitute a court for the purposes of any trial to be held in the course of proceedings to be conducted by virtue of this Order, and shall nominate one of them to preside.
(2) The determination of any question of law arising in any such trial shall be according to the votes of the majority of the members of the court, including the presiding judge.
(3) The court shall conduct any such trial without a jury.
(4) For the purposes of any such trial, the court shall have all the powers, authorities and jurisdiction which it would have had if it had been sitting with a jury in Scotland, including power to determine any question and to make any finding which would, apart from this article, be required to be determined or made by a jury, and references in any enactment or other rule of law to a jury or the verdict or finding of a jury shall be construed accordingly.
(5) At the conclusion of any such trial, the court shall retire to consider its verdict, which shall be determined by a majority and delivered in open court by the presiding judge.
(6) In the event of a verdict of guilty -
(a) the presiding judge shall pass sentence; and
(b) without prejudice to its power apart from this paragraph to give a judgment, the court shall, at the time of conviction or as soon as practicable thereafter, give a judgment in writing stating the reasons for the conviction.
[RB: The Order was made by “The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in Council … At the Court at Heathrow”. Since, as Dr Morag Kerr has conclusively demonstrated, Heathrow is where the bomb was loaded, this is strikingly appropriate.]