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A controversial barrister’s successful appeal of a £500 fine imposed for a tweet found to have the potential to promote hostility towards Muslims helps clarify the extent of free speech protections for registered professionals posting on social media.
Jon Holbrook—a public law barrister who was widely criticised and ultimately expelled from his Chambers last year for a tweet in which he referred to a schoolchild involved in a race discrimination case as a “stroppy teenager of colour”—has successfully appealed a £500 fine imposed for a different tweet in a decision handed down by the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service (“BTAS”) on 25th March 2022.
This article, which can be viewed in full by clicking the link below, takes a closer look at the submissions and conclusions from the appeal decision, and compares this case to several related cases recently decided, in order to provide practitioners with an overview of the direction of travel in this quickly-developing area of professional regulation.
Guest post: You Can Tweet If You Want To (So Long As You’re Polite About It): The Current State of Regulatory Oversight Over Social Media – The Secret Barrister
Solicitors Journal 165/05, May 2022
Vanessa Reid is a barrister at Mountford Chambers specialising in criminal defence and regulatory law. She is frequently instructed by professional regulators in fitness to practise proceedings, and has considerable experience presenting cases before medical and healthcare tribunals.
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