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Wears a black cape and fights crime. Not Batman. • Award-winning Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author • The Secret Barrister • #FakeLaw • Nothing But The Truth
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Jan 9 4 tweets 2 min read
As the issue of compensation for miscarriages of justice is rightly in the news, it’s timely to note that in 2014, the government changed the law to make it all but impossible for people wrongly convicted and imprisoned to claim compensation. Chris Grayling and Theresa May led the charge to deprive the wrongly convicted of compensation, changing the rules so that those people had to effectively prove their innocence - an impossible standard to meet.

The details are in Stories of The Law & How It’s Broken.

Dec 3, 2023 4 tweets 2 min read
Can highly recommend this piece in today’s Sunday Times if you’re looking for a facile misunderstanding of what a barrister actually does.

If Mr Syed had bothered to speak to a barrister, or indulge in the most cursory research, he would have learned at least two things: 🧵

1. 90% of a barrister’s career is spent on making decisions. Advising on courses of action, of legal risk, future consequences, assessing evidence and making split-second judgement calls (both in and out of court) that can make an irrevocable decision to a person’s life. Image
Aug 3, 2023 22 tweets 5 min read
Ah, hello old friend.

It’s been a while.

Let’s hop back on the horse: Why this story about legal aid is as misleading as it is brainless.


#LegalAidLies Readers are invited to conclude that £100,000 (£100,028, to be precise) is too much to spend on this very serious case, in which an MP was murdered. A “ridiculous amount of money”, we’re reliably told by Conservative MP @nigelmills.

Well let’s see. Image
Jul 24, 2023 17 tweets 4 min read
There is something I've been reluctant to talk about.

I didn't ever want to really talk about it. But the question has been asked, and if one person is thinking it, others may be too.

So I'll address it head on:

How is Taylor Swift's legal analysis in "no body, no crime"? 🧵 🎵He did it, he did it🎵

She says as the sirens blare. Nothing like a quick rush to judgement before literally *any* evidence has been called, eh Swifty?

But let's allow for the fact that you're worried about your friend, and look at some of the evidential principles in play.
Mar 25, 2023 4 tweets 2 min read
A final (for now) word on my colleagues who don’t and can’t prosecute criminal cases, but are performatively declaring that they *won’t* prosecute certain types of cases.

This second paragraph vividly illustrates the danger to which they are exposing us criminal practitioners. The whole point of the cab rank rule is that it provides the answer to the question: “How can you represent [X]?”, when X is an unpopular client or cause.

The minute we are perceived to be picking and choosing between “good” and “bad” defendants, it all breaks down.
Mar 22, 2023 5 tweets 1 min read
There’s a reason that criminal defence lawyers will tell you that the defence case is usually at its strongest before the defendant gives evidence. Always good fun to watch a leading silk's poker face as their client sets fire to his own trousers in the witness box.
Dec 17, 2022 58 tweets 18 min read

This lecture explores the Christmas(ish) classic Paddington 2 through the lens of English & Welsh law.

Contributions are welcome, but I'm perfectly prepared to tweet the entire film to a wall of embarrassed silence.

#LegalLiveTweet This paper considers, inter alia, how the journey of one Peruvian bear through the criminal justice system might have been different had he and his associates all been subject to the law of England and Wales.
Dec 14, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
It is both an insult and a mark of cowardice when defendants refuse to attend court for their sentence.

But what is actually being suggested here?

I can only see only two options.

And Labour’s policy is unclear. 🧵 Labour excitedly told The Sun that they would “force offenders to literally face justice”. Does this mean *literally* dragging unwilling defendants into the dock? Aside from the safety issues, what if the defendant decides to disrupt proceedings?… ImageImage
Dec 14, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Councillor Barrett claimed that a barrister wearing a t-shirt with a (non-sexual) slogan exemplified a “cultural problem at the criminal bar”.

When asked to explain, he posted an unrelated report of sexual abuse and accused me of endorsing “a culture of sexual objectification.” I wouldn’t normally engage with this sort of silliness, but Councillor Barrett - he of the reliably inaccurate pro-government “legal analyses” in The Spectator - is making false claims capable of seriously damaging reputations, which cannot be ignored.
Dec 4, 2022 6 tweets 3 min read
Quite right.

As Andrew’s employer has shown, the correct mode of address for judges is “Enemy of The People”. Image In the meantime, this “PC Wokery” sounds like a dangerous cad. I hope his sergeant yanks him into line before he infects anybody else. Image
Nov 22, 2022 12 tweets 5 min read
Ooh, shall we talk “irresponsible”, @DominicRaab?

Because I wonder if our definitions differ.

Irresponsible, to me, is supporting the chronic defunding of criminal justice during your entire spell as a Parliamentarian.

And of course, there’s more. 🧵… Image Irresponsible is cutting 21,000 police officers and a quarter of Crown Prosecutors. Meaning it often takes around two years - at least - simply for a suspect to be charged.

Meaning that potentially dangerous people are free to roam the streets.

Oct 26, 2022 10 tweets 4 min read
Dominic Raab:

The Greatest Hits 💽💽💽

In his most recent spell as Justice Secretary, @DominicRaab achieved the following: 🧵 1. Dominic Raab created a record backlog in the Crown Courts by continuing his predecessors’ chronic underfunding of the criminal justice system.

His “plan” to reduce the backlog was ridiculed by fellow MPs as “meagre”, as it would still leave people waiting years for a trial.
Oct 23, 2022 10 tweets 4 min read
An illustration of the crisis in criminal justice:

We are working to capacity. All available judges, courts & barristers working flat out

In the past two weeks, I have had two trials adjourned for “lack of court time”

Each case is from 2019 and has been adjourned TWICE before. This has nothing to do with barristers’ industrial action. It is not because of Covid.

It is due to a chronic lack of resourcing, which has seen courts sold off and underused, insufficient judges recruited and a quarter of criminal barristers forced out of the profession.
Oct 9, 2022 24 tweets 5 min read
For those who have asked, after careful consideration, I have decided to vote NO to the government's offer to the Criminal Bar.

My reasons for doing so are no better nor worthy of note than anybody else's, but what is Twitter without solipsism? So here goes. 1. The government's own independent review urged an immediate 15% increase as a *bare minimum* back in November 2021. It was intended to be a large, above-inflation increase to reflect the perilous position of the profession, the attrition rate, and the 28% cut.
Sep 6, 2022 5 tweets 4 min read
In today’s episode of “Things I Didn’t Expect To Say When I Started Tweeting As An Anonymous Lawsplaining Rabbit”, may I place on record my thanks to Leonardo Di Caprio’s new alleged love interest for what I think we can all agree is her exquisite taste in literature.

#FakeLaw Not *just* a law book, MailOnline. A Sunday Times bestselling law book exploring the popular myths we are fed about our justice system by those in power, from the author of fellow bestsellers “Stories of the Law and How it’s Broken” and “Nothing But The Truth”. Oh yes.

Aug 23, 2022 6 tweets 3 min read
Evidence, if it were needed, of how little @jcartlidgemp understood the basics of his brief as justice minister.

His brilliant plan would

(A) Cost far more than it costs to pay independent barristers

(B) Instantly create a national shortage of barristers available to prosecute Because here’s the thing that people like @jcartlidgemp fail to grasp.

Criminal barristers don’t just defend.

We don’t just prosecute.

Our independence means that we do both. We have the experience of both, which makes us better at both.

He wants to abolish this.

Aug 22, 2022 4 tweets 3 min read
The truth:

@DominicRaab has defunded criminal justice, causing a record #RaabBacklog in the courts.

He ignored the independent legal aid report he promised to implement.

He has refused to even speak to the @TheCriminalBar.

He is sacrificing victims on the altar of his vanity. Barristers on strike: a history

2008-2018 Barrister income cut by 28%

2018 - govt promises independent review into fees

2019-2021 - tumbleweed

2021 - independent review published. @DominicRaab sits on it.

2022 - Raab refuses to implement report’s “urgent” recommendations.
Aug 16, 2022 15 tweets 6 min read
Given that @lucyfrazermp has taken the time to write about the criminal justice system, in her capacity as a barrister, it is only fair to take some time to explain why almost every line of this article is untrue, nonsensical or both.

[THREAD] Let’s start with where Ms Frazer is correct, because this will be quick.

She is spot on that there are outrageous, unacceptable delays in the criminal justice system for victims of crime, particularly cases involving allegations of sexual offending.

Damn right. It’s a scandal.
Jun 22, 2022 7 tweets 2 min read
I agree that “courts must have regard to the interests of all those concerned in criminal trials [and] of the public”.

That includes the interests of the public in there being a viable independent criminal Bar.

Something which, with respect, seems to have been missed here. The interests of “all concerned” includes the interests of junior barristers unable to make a living, terrified of what the future holds and bravely taking the only steps open to them in the face of an government that is wilfully destroying criminal justice.

Again, forgotten.
Jun 21, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
Conservative councillor @SBarrettBar (who likes to claim he is “non-political”) has filled the airwaves with more inaccurate government propaganda this morning.

Criminal barristers have *not* been offered a “15% pay rise”.

He also does not seem to understand the cab rank rule. If Steven had done his research before anointing himself an expert on criminal legal aid, he would know that legal aid fees have fallen so low that our regulator says that they do not represent “a proper professional fee”, and we are entitled to decline those cases.
Jun 14, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
Some lawyers have argued in support of the government’s actions.

Other lawyers have argued in support of the rights of those affected.

All have done their professional duty to their client, irrespective of personal or political belief.

All are essential to the rule of law. Tomorrow, one set of these lawyers will be attacked by government ministers.

The Prime Minister and Home Secretary will denigrate them as “lefty activists” who “abet criminals”.

MPs will accuse them of having “blood on their hands”.

This is an attack on the rule of law itself.