In a boost for free speech the barristers’ regulator has redrafted its social media guidance to recognise that free speech must prevail over the urge of the easily offended to cancel.
Maya Forstater’s workplace victory shows how the law can defend free speech against the wokesters who practise cancel culture.
In August my professional regulator, the Bar Standards Board, sanctioned me for a tweet. An appeal panel has now overturned the BSB’s decision and confirmed the importance of political speech under human rights law. The panel concluded that a tweet that may cause offence, or which could promote hostility towards others as a group, provides no basis for interfering with the right of a barrister, or any other member of a regulated profession, to speak politically.
For expressing my political opinions, in circumstances entirely unrelated to my professional work, I was expelled from my chambers; and though now exonerated, I have been fined £500 by the bar’s regulator on a newly minted charge. I reflect on the latest decision of the Bar Standards Board, which has at least exonerated me for the tweet that brought about my expulsion from Chambers.
Jon Holbrook is being formally investigated by his professional regulator, the Bar Standards Board, on a charge of bringing the profession into disrepute. His alleged crime? Eighteen tweets in which he has expressed views ‘not infrequently seen in the Mail or the Telegraph’. Law professor Andrew Tettenborn criticises the Board’s actions which will have a chilling effect on free speech and which show how ‘tolerance has now become vice and intolerance a sign of virtue’.
Human rights laws may come to Begum’s aid in her appeal against loss of British citizenship. The Surpeme Court in February did not rule on the issue of her deprivation of citizenship. When the courts rule on this issue ‘me’ may well trump ‘us’.
Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.