Lord Janner: What we know so far

Judge rules Lord Janner must appear in court despite his illness Credit: PA

What are the charges against Lord Janner?

Greville Janner faces 22 child sex abuse charges linked to alleged offences committed during a period spanning the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

The 87-year-old was Labour MP for West Leicester for 27 years from 1970 to 1997, before becoming a peer when he left the Commons.

He was suspended by the Labour party in April after Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, announced sufficient evidence to charge him with multiple counts of child abuse.

She further announced that it was not in the public interest to bring charges against him due to his ill health- a decision that was overturned on review.

What happened today?

Lord Janner was due to appear at Westminster magistrates court but his lawyers argued he was too ill to attend as he is suffering "severe dementia".

They say he would be unable to understand, or play a part in any court proceedings. Doctors also gave evidence saying that he may suffer a "catastrophic reaction" if he has to come to court.

However, Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle said that Janner did not have to understand or play a part in the initial hearing but was required by law to attend under Section 51 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

Lord Janner case adjourned after lawyers said he was too ill to attend court. Credit: PA

What happens now?

Janner will now have to appear in person on 14 August.

As this is a magistrates' court, it will likely last just a few minutes. The case will then be transferred to a crown court.

District Judge Riddle told Janner's lawyers: "He must appear for a comparatively short period of time. He is free to go if he becomes distressed. This [hearing] will probably be achieved in less than a minute. Nevertheless the law requires his presence."

This would be followed by a trial of the facts, where a jury hears the evidence against an individual considered too ill for a full trial.

A judge will then have to decide if Janner is fit to plead. If he isn't, a jury will be asked to decide whether he committed the acts he is charged with.

The judge will also have to rule on whether the defendant should appear during the trial or can be excused on medical grounds.