A staged court session adjourned on 23 November after a split jury failed either to acquit or to condemn EU trade policy against accusations that it exacerbates poverty in the third world and contributes to the destruction of the environment.
Judge Pat Cox, President of EMI and former President of the European Parliament, opened the Court session before a jury of around 300 people, who, in a pre-trial opinion poll (using red and green cards) appeared largely divided on European trade policy in its current form, although a narrow majority appeared to be in favour of the defendant, whose case was pleaded by David O’Sullivan, Director General of the Commission’s DG Trade.
Accusations were led by Head of Oxfam International’s ‘Make Trade Fair campaign’, Celine Charveriat, whose main charges were that Europe’s “short-termist and mercantilist” trade policy is failing to make trade fair and putting the livelihoods of people in developing countries at risk.
The Judge allowed both parties to call two witnesses to the box to defend their respective positions.
The defendant was supported by German Socialist MEP Erika Mann and by the Head of Philips’ International Trade Desk Craig Burchell. The plaintiff was backed by British Green MEP Caroline Lucas and by the Director of Friends of the Earth Europe Fouad Hamdan.