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Judgment reserved in Ian Brady's High Court fight over tribunal lawyer

Judgment has been reserved on a bid by Ian Brady, the Moors murderer, to launch a "totally unique" High Court fight for the right to have the lawyer of his choice representing him at a tribunal.

Brady wants the go-ahead to challenge a bar on solicitor-advocate Robin Makin, who has represented him for more than 25 years, receiving a publicly funded contract to put his latest case before the Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT).

Mr Justice Morris, sitting in London, said after a half-day hearing that he is likely to give an oral judgment on Brady's application for permission to seek judicial review on Friday.

Mr Makin is currently barred from acting as Brady's publicly funded legal representative because his solicitors' firm, E Rex Makin & Co, is not a member of the Law Society's mental health panel.

Under legal aid rules, only members are entitled to a publicly funded contract in the mental health law category.

Brady's legal team told the court the Lord Chancellor, Liz Truss, has power to intervene and protect his human rights and ensure he is represented by the lawyer of his choice.

His barrister Philip Engelman argued she had unlawfully fettered her discretion by failing to act in what the tribunal itself had described as a "totally unique" case.

Lawyers for the Lord Chancellor told the judge it would not be a "lawful and proper use of her power" for her to intervene.

The serial killer, 79, who now uses the name Ian Stewart-Brady, last went before the Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) in 2013 and asked for a move to a Scottish prison so he cannot be force-fed, as in hospital, and where he could be allowed to die if he wishes.

His request was rejected after Ashworth Hospital said he had chronic mental illness and needed continued care at the Merseyside unit.

A further review was due in September last year, but Brady refused to take part without Mr Makin.

Brady and Myra Hindley, who died in prison in 2002, tortured and murdered five children in the 1960s. Four of the victims were buried on Saddleworth Moor in the south Pennines.

He was jailed for three murders in 1966 and has been at Ashworth since 1985. He and Hindley later confessed to another two murders.

His legal team say he has been bedridden for the last couple of years or so.

"It is probably fair to say that his physical condition will not improve and he is terminally ill.

"He is in very poor physical health - he suffers from emphysema and has constant oxygen and a nebuliser four times a day."

His case at the High Court in London is listed as "Stewart-Brady v Lord Chancellor".

The court has heard that Brady was reluctant to engage with the latest review, believing it was biased against him.

But he was persuaded to take part by Mr Makin after "making it clear that the only legal representative he would have was Robin Makin".

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