Judge Malcolm Simmons has agreed to accept undisclosed damages from the publishers of two online articles who had falsely accused him of misconduct.
In 2017 the defendants made false allegations of misconduct against Judge Simmons. The defendants alleged Judge Simmons had lied in his CV, that he did not possess the necessary qualifications to be a judge and that he was under investigation for criminal offences. The defendants accept those allegations were false. They have apologised unreservedly to Judge Simmons and agreed to pay undisclosed damages believed to exceed six figures. Judge Simmons has stated the award will be paid to four charities.
Judge Malcolm Simmons served as an international judge from 2004 to 2017. From 2004 to 2008 he was an International Judge of the Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina in Sarajevo. From 2008 to 2017 he was an International Judge of the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo. He presided in war crime and serious organised crime cases. He was a well-respected judge who had an unblemished career on the bench. From 2014 to 2017 he was President of EULEX Judges. Few other international judges serving in EULEX had experience presiding in serious and organised crime cases. Even fewer had war crime experience. In 2016 Judge Simmons was interviewed by a panel of senior judges from The Hague and selected as a judge of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers.
In 2017 Judge Simmons came under considerable political pressure not to reveal serious misconduct involving senior staff of the EU rule of law mission in which he was serving. He became the subject of a media campaign to discredit him.Judge Simmons has since accepted damages for the false allegations that were made against him.
In June 2018 the Constitutional Court of Kosovo issued a decision supporting Judge Simmons and found judges of the EU rule of law mission in breach of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 6 protects the defendants right to a fair trial.
Earlier this year Judge Simmons accepted damages from three newspapers that had posted false online stories.
Judge Malcolm Simmons is one of the most respected criminal judges working in the international community – particularly in matters relating to judicial reform and reform of the administration of justice. He is particularly well-known for his judicial reform work and has more that 19 years experience training judges, prosecutors and lawyers. He has worked in judicial reform projects in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania, Croatia, India, Africa, Pakistan and Maldives.
Since 2003 Judge Malcolm Simmons has been a justice expert on the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office list of deployable civilian experts.