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Legal Minds

26 October 2018 / by / in

Tommy Robinson and Sir Philip Green

The courts have shown themselves out of step with public opinion. The Lord Chief Justice has said that MPs and peers who have used Parliamentary privilege to flout gagging orders erode confidence in the justice system.

However, when Lord Hain used Parliamentary privilege to identify Sir Philip Green as the user of such gagging orders, there has been little public outcry. Indeed the general public perception is not that Lord Hain has undermined the rule of law. Most people appear to agree with the Daily Telegraph that our courts have brought themselves into disrepute by gagging the newspaper in the first place.

Confidence in the justice system has further been undermined by the disproportionate and excessive prison sentence handed down to Tommy Robinson. Now released, but facing further allegations that he is in contempt of court, by breaching reporting restrictions on social media from outside Leeds Crown Court during a child sex-ring trial.

Tommy Robinson has been able to rally public support, despite a string of criminal convictions, because of the way his case has been dealt with by the courts which has again brought the system into disrepute.

A bad week for the English courts.

John Bechelet

John specialises in commercial and civil fraud litigation. Admitted as a solicitor in 1983, John worked in private practice and in-house for a leading life assurance company before establishing Bivonas with Antony Brown in 1997. John has extensive experience in a wide range of courts and tribunals including the UK Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the Divisional Court. He has been involved in a number of important reported cases.

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