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.
Free speech – we need it
Maya Forstater triumphs over cancel culture
Speaking freely just got a bit easier
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.
Cancelled, cleared, then fined
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.
Professional denouncement for private opinions
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’.
No place at the bar for challenging woke politics
Cancelled by my barristers’ chambers over a tweet
Equality law fuels campus censorship
Government-backed guidance on free speech in universities shows how the Equality Act is the main driver of campus censorship.