Where does the case go from here? We asked two respected lawyers in the field who aren’t involved in it: Amber Melville-Brown, head of the media and reputation practice at the international law firm Withers, and Nick Goldstone, head of dispute resolution at Ince.
This week, an English court agreed to serve the papers. Melville-Brown says, “it is a matter for the English court to determine the method of service when serving at the request of a foreign court” and that it can be via email, post or in person.
Once the papers are served, what happens?
Melville-Brown says Andrew would have four options: Ignore the claim; contest it; admit it; or, try to settle it. “None are particularly attractive,” she adds, “although he and his team may consider the first and the last may be the least of a bad lot.”
Goldstone adds it’s a “fairly binary decision” for Prince Andrew’s legal team: Either engage or evade.
Can he engage and defend his position?
Goldstone says Andrew could say to himself, “I’m not going to participate in this process, because it’s outrageous, and I have further nothing to say.” In effect, he would be refusing to submit to the jurisdiction of the court in this case.
“If he wants to engage and go through the process of civil trial,” says Goldstone, “the simplest thing for him to do is to put in an acknowledgement and say to the New York court: ‘Okay, I’m going to defend this, I’m going to fight this.’ But as I understand it, he is under no obligation to respond and sometimes people choose not to respond because of all sorts of different reasons.”
What if he does submit to the jurisdiction of a New York court?
“Then they are going to be fighting a case within the New York court procedural rules,” says Goldstone, “and that brings with it all sorts of consequences, which may be good or may be bad, depending upon the outcome of that procedure. If you win a case, it’s always a good decision. If you lose a case, it’s more often looked upon as a bad decision. If you choose not to engage and submit to the jurisdiction of the New York court, you’ve got to consider what will the New York court do in your absence? Will it proceed in your absence in a detailed way? Will it proceed in your absence in the summary or default way? And what would the consequences be of an outcome that presumably would be negative because you’re not there to defend yourself? And how enforceable would such a final outcome in a New York court be against you wherever? Obviously it will be enforceable in New York, but Prince Andrew isn’t in New York.”
What if he doesn’t submit to the court and the court finds him guilty?
“He could argue that this is not a judgment that should be enforceable against him,” Goldstone says, noting that Andrew has not participated in the New York court’s proceedings or recognized its jurisdiction to date. The prince may therefore argue that a ruling by the court “shouldn’t be enforced against him because it’s not a claim that could be advanced in England,” which doesn’t have an equivalent to New York’s Child Victims Act, says Goldstone. “And therefore, as a matter of public policy, English courts shouldn’t recognize a judgment that has been obtained in a foreign court.”
Will he be forced to appear in court?
Goldstone: “I believe if he chooses not to engage in, not to submit to the jurisdiction, there is no prospect of him being called to the US … or being deposed or providing evidence or witness testimony in proceedings that he’s not engaged in, that is not recognized. On the other hand, if he does engage, there’s every prospect.”
Prince Andrew has already spoken to the media about these allegations, and it famously backfired, resulting in his having to step back from royal duties. It’s hard to imagine him rushing to go back on the record, especially in court. The negative headlines will keep coming while the case is unresolved, and that must concern the palace communications teams responsible for managing the reputation of the wider monarchy — of which Prince Andrew is still part.
CHARLES’ CHARITY DRAMA
Foundation chair Douglas Connell said he was “shocked and dismayed by newspaper reports that rogue activity of various kinds may have taken place within and outside the Prince’s Foundation.” Explaining why he was choosing to relinquish his role, he continued: “My view is that the person chairing any organisation should take responsibility if it appears that serious misconduct may have taken place within it.” A Clarence House spokesperson told CNN that Charles “has no knowledge of the alleged offer of honors or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities and fully supports the investigation now underway by The Prince’s Foundation.” The Prince’s Foundation is an umbrella organization for several of Charles’ charitable projects.
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING?
William announces the finalists of his inaugural environment award.
UK police will not launch a probe into Martin Bashir’s 1995 Diana interview.
The Sussexes are cover stars.
Harry joins first lady Jill Biden at a veterans’ event.
Prince Harry co-hosted a virtual event Monday in honor of athletes taking part in the Warrior Games, an annual event run by the US Department of Defense that “celebrates the resiliency and dedication of wounded, ill, and injured active duty and veteran U.S. military Service members.” Harry had planned to attend the 2021 Warrior Games in Orlando, Florida, but the event was canceled due to concerns over Covid-19. The event is closely linked to the Invictus Games, an international sporting event that Harry founded for service members and veterans.
Philip’s will to remain secret for 90 years.
FROM THE ROYAL VAULT
The Queen marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a heartfelt message to the victims of the terror attacks as well as to their families and the United States as a whole.
In a message to US President Joe Biden, the Queen said: “My thoughts and prayers — and those of my family and the entire nation — remain with the victims, survivors and families affected, as well as the first responders and rescue workers called to duty.”
The 95-year-old monarch recalled visiting the World Trade Center site in July 2010, saying the occasion “is held fast in my memory.”
“It reminds me that as we honour those from many nations, faiths and backgrounds who lost their lives, we also pay tribute to the resilience and determination of the communities who joined together to rebuild,” she added.
Naomi Campbell joins forces with Queen’s charity.
Campbell called her new role as a QCT Platinum Jubilee Global Ambassador a “privilege” in a speech Thursday and spoke of her decades-long passion for elevating future leaders. “Regardless of where you are from or where you are now, there are young leaders within your community doing amazing work. Sometimes they are not seen and some of them may not even see themselves as ‘leaders’ yet, but they all deserve our support, and access to education and resources,” the 51-year-old said. “I have been doing the work with empowering young people for over 25 years. This is something very close to my heart and I will continue to do everything I can to uplift the next generation, so they can create a better future for their communities.”
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Kate meets UK soldiers involved in evacuations from Kabul.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walks into the fuselage of an RAF C17 Globemaster as she meets individuals who supported the UK’s evacuation of civilians from Afghanistan at RAF Brize Norton in England on Wednesday. In a post on a joint Instagram account with husband William, the duchess wrote of the honor of speaking to personnel involved in “Operation Pitting,” whose stories she described as “inspiring, emotional, harrowing and powerful.” She added: “Flying out in excess of 15,000 people from Kabul was a truly collaborative operation across our Armed Services, local authorities and aid organisations in Afghanistan and the UK. You should all be proud of your work, often around the clock, to support the evacuation of civilians from Afghanistan.”
Queen Elizabeth sent a message of congratulations to the people of North Korea on their national day, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told CNN Tuesday. The message was sent on behalf of the sovereign by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) “as has been done before,” the spokesperson said. The palace added that it is standard practice to send similar messages on other national days across the world.
North Korea celebrated its national day — to mark the 73rd anniversary of its founding — on September 9. The day began with a midnight military parade in Pyongyang. The hermit kingdom’s leader, Kim Jong Un, appeared on a platform in Kim Il Sung square and waved at the crowd.