Ireland: Judge steps aside over CRH share dealings

Ireland: Judge steps aside over CRH share dealings
Published: 15 November 2012

Tagged Under: Ireland CRH 

A high court judge has stepped aside from a long-running dispute involving cement giant CRH, after a rival firm raised concerns about the judge's ownership of the company's shares.

Mr Justice John Cooke, who returned to Ireland in 2008 after serving for 12 years as a judge in the European Court of First Instance, has been managing the bitter competition law case between Goode Concrete and CRH for two years.

Mr Justice Cooke had already handed down three written rulings on preliminary issues in the litigation when Goode sought to bring a motion requesting his refusal, or removal from the case.

Mr Justice Cooke stepped aside after Goode expressed concern that the purchase of CRH shares on behalf of the judge raised a reasonable apprehension of objective bias. It emerged that some CRH shares were bought on his behalf after the litigation commenced.

Mr Justice Cooke told lawyers for Goode that they would have "to take my word for it" that he was unaware of the CRH share purchase.