Will Chamberlain Profile picture
May 25, 2018 21 tweets 10 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
The judge in Tommy Robinson's case, Denise Marson, pulled a neat trick today.

She threw him in jail for 13 months, and banned anyone in the UK from talking about it.

A thread on how she did it. (h/t @nickmon1112)

#FreeTommy #FreeTommyRobinson
A year ago, Tommy was convicted of Contempt of Court for filming 4 defendants who were alleged to have gang-raped a young woman. His sentence was suspended.

Tommy argued that he didn't intend to derail the trial.

Under UK law, that doesn't matter - there is *strict liability* for *criminal* contempt charges.
We don't have a ton of detail on the court proceedings today, but it sounds like a similar set of facts to a year ago - Tommy was livestreaming outside the courthouse, arrested, his suspended sentence was revoked and some additional time was tacked on.

The really interesting question - how on earth the judge could BAN REPORTING on the trial - shows yet again how insane UK law is.

Judge Marson's order cites section 4(2) of the 1981 Contempt of Court act justifying the reporting ban.
This provision allows the court to ban TRUE and ACCURATE reporting about a criminal case. Once the judge issues this order, publishing TRUE and ACCURATE accounts of the case is a CRIME.

(Excerpt from here: judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/upl…)
Nominally, this flowchart describes the process which courts are supposed to use before implementing reporting restrictions. From my reading, the argument FOR reporting restrictions is that they help make the trial stay fair and prevent jury contamination.

(Same source as above)
This rationale wouldn't fly in the United States - as @Timcast put it, thank God for the First Amendment. (Also due thanks - the Supreme Court in New York Times v. United States)

And we should be thankful. Courts, and the Crown, are abusing reporting restrictions like crazy. In one case, the Court banned truthful reporting on a terrorism trial *after the trial was over*.
Similarly, it looks like Judge Marson is abusing her authority here.

Let's go back to the order. It put reporting restrictions on *Tommy's* case. Not the case he was covering. The restriction ends when the case he was *covering* ends - but the restriction is NOT on that case.
Read that Orwellian language. Reporting on Tommy's imprisonment is "necessary to avoid a substantial risk of prejudice to the administration of justice in *these* proceedings."

That makes no sense! There's no jury trial for contempt of court! He's already been sentenced!
This is an incredible abuse of reporting restrictions, which already are a noxious instrument in the hands of the UK government.

Judge Marson convicted Tommy of Contempt of Court, and banned anyone from reporting on - or criticizing - her actions.

Abuse. Of. Power.
The UK Government has arrogated to itself enormous, discretionary power - just like with the Terrorism Act. And as @Lauren_Southern, @Martin_Sellner, and @BrittPettibone can attest, the UK government now abuses that power to silence people it doesn't like. bbc.com/news/blogs-tre…
In short:

The UK is a police state.

The UK government can throw people in jail, and ban anyone from talking about why they did so.

Appalling and contemptible.

#FreeTommy #FreeTommyRobinson
I'll be periscoping on this in 30 or so.
ADDENDUM: I got the name of the judge wrong. It's Geoffrey Marson, not Denise Marson.


ADDENDUM 2: It was inaccurate to say that strict liability is the standard for ALL criminal contempt proceedings in the UK. The strict liability rule applies to publishers, and there's an exception for true and accurate reporting.
This @nyulawreview article from 2000 provides a good overview of the differences between British and American attitudes to press freedom when it comes to covering criminal cases.

ADDENDUM 3: The key case that prevents this sort of prior restraint from being legal in the United States is Nebraska Press Ass'n v. Stuart, not the New York Times case.

I explore reporting requirements further in this thread:

Also - @lizziedearden does a better job than I did here of explaining contempt law and reporting restrictions in the UK:

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More from @willchamberlain

Oct 6, 2018
Almost three weeks ago, I called this a shit-test.

It was a test of Republicans' spine - a test of whether they would break in the face of an unverifiable, unfalsifiable, uncorroborated allegation.

They are about to pass.

I called @ChuckGrassley a "peacetime Senator" and called for his removal as @senjudiciary chair.

He proved me wrong.

He showed his mettle.

Thank you, Senator.

And thanks to the Senator's staff as well - Mike Davis (@mrddmia) first and foremost.

Also, thank you @senatemajldr.

No one has done more to improve their standing in the last year than Cocaine Mitch.

He went from bete noire to folk hero.

We have a true gangster running the Senate, and we should be grateful.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 27, 2018
Starting a commentary thread

Both Grassley and Feinstein are speaking too long

Neither are compelling speakers

Both would have been well served by shorter speeches

Also, at this point, Republicans of all stripes despise Feinstein

The longer she talks, the worse it is for Ford

As an aside: Notice how hard it is to sound persuasive and authentic when you are READING a speech

Your tonality when you read is often different than when you speak

It’s necessary here because people give have to read from prepared opening statements
Read 17 tweets
Sep 26, 2018
We need an FBI investigation into the Democratic plot to smear Brett Kavanaugh! #ConfirmKavanaugh pscp.tv/w/bnrZIDUzMzM2…
Senate Democrats have stated that:

- the burden of proof is on the accused
- there is no presumption of innocence
- innocent people demand FBI investigations of their own behavior if they are accused of wrongdoing

They must call for an FBI investigation into themselves!
Democrats like @ChuckSchumer say there is NO EVIDENCE that Senate Democrats colluded to smear Brett Kavanaugh.

They should welcome an FBI investigation then! After all, if they are innocent, they have nothing to hide!


Read 5 tweets
Sep 19, 2018
Obvious questions for Christine Blasey Ford:

- Why were you and your husband in couples therapy?
- Why did this accusation come up for the first time in couples therapy?
- Did your husband pressure you to come forward now?

Christine Blasey Ford and her husband were married in 2002.

The first time she told *anyone* "of the incident in any detail" was 2012.

She kept this from her husband for OVER TEN YEARS OF MARRIAGE.

And then it came up - in couples therapy.

This is my thesis (and to be clear this is just me extrapolating from public info)

I think Christine Blasey Ford fabricated this story in 2012 to save her marriage.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 17, 2018
The Kavanaugh circus is a reminder of why I voted for Trump.

Democrats are utterly ruthless. They will lie, cheat, steal, and smear to gain power. And they are institutionally bigoted towards straight white men.

Ignore the concern-trolling.

#ConfirmKavanaugh #MAGA
“Just switch to Barrett!”

Hell no.

You saw the hearings.

You saw the Democrats baying for blood.

Think they’ll be satisfied with just one scalp?

If there was ever a time to stand and fight, it’s now.

If Republicans give in they will lose the House and Senate. 100%. No one will vote for a party of cowards.

The accusation is patent bullshit. Judge Kavanaugh has categorically denied it. The end.

Read 4 tweets
Sep 10, 2018
Tolerance is our greatest strength.
Diversity is a stressor.

Tolerance is a measure of antifragility
“Diversity is our greatest strength” is a meme designed to increase a society’s tolerance
Read 4 tweets

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