The Secret Barrister Profile picture
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
Hugh 3.5% 🕷 #FBPE Profile picture Jeffrey Rubinoff Profile picture RICHARD LINTER Profile picture 3 subscribed
Sep 25, 2018 6 tweets 3 min read
There has been quite a lot of anger at this story. I understand why - it instinctively feels as if the bar is being set even higher for victims of serious sexual offences to get justice. As if we’re giving up on them.

But if I may offer a counterpoint from my book [1/6] Something missing from the reporting and commentary is the fact that independent reviews have shown that, in Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) cases, the CPS misapply the evidential test more often than in non-sex cases. (Report here:…) [2]
Sep 18, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
This is why we do this job. Wouldn’t have been prosecuted in the US, of course. They have a constitutional right to bear-arms.
Sep 13, 2018 15 tweets 5 min read
Protecting the Protectors is a noble and important aim.

Here’s why this new law does not achieve it. [THREAD] Obviously assaults on emergency workers are unacceptable. That is so obvious as to be trite, but for the avoidance of doubt, that is my starting point. Anything we can do to offer protection to emergency workers should be seriously considered. But this new law is not serious.
Sep 12, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
It’s a reasonable question (although the answer would be easily discoverable to a journalist):

Because all defendants sentenced to a standard determinate custodial term are automatically released on licence after serving half of their sentence (s244 Criminal Justice Act 2003). There are certain offences and situations where, if a judge believes a defendant to be “dangerous” (defined as presenting a significant risk of causing serious harm), a defendant can be detained beyond the halfway point of their sentence. HOWEVER...
Sep 3, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
These stories are becoming increasingly popular with the media. Criminal steals big wodge of money, soft judge only makes them pay a fraction of it back.

A brief thread is in order. [THREAD] When someone financially benefits from a crime, the Crown Court has the power to make what is called a “confiscation order”. It has two parts: (1) The “benefit” - ie what has the person had. (2) The “available amount” - what assets does the person currently have.
Aug 30, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
Gather round, folks! It’s time for another round of What Is Andrew Pierce Wrong About This Time?

[SPOILER: Everything] “No other sanction”. Well that’s a lie right off the bat. The news report is here. And we can see that the court imposed a community order, a restraining order and costs. There would also be “requirements” to the community order, such as unpaid work or a rehabilitation programme.
Aug 23, 2018 17 tweets 5 min read
Following on from yesterday’s rubbish (see thread), the Mail continues its dishonest trashing of the justice system with more cod statistics about criminal sentencing.… 620,000 criminals with at least 10 previous convictions were given non-custodial sentences. That’s the headline. Here’s what the Mail doesn’t tell you:
Aug 22, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
In fairness to Trump, entering a criminal conspiracy with your client and then offering him up on a plea deal is something which would probably get you a fairly low mark on the Bar exam. Now that I have your attention, I'm going to lay some legal education on yo asses. Contrary to popular (American-inspired) belief, in England and Wales we do not have "plea deals". Defendants can offer to help out the authorities with the expectation of a reduced sentence, BUT...
Aug 22, 2018 15 tweets 5 min read
Well this is a dreadful piece. Utterly devoid of legal and factual context, and omitting the key information required to make any judgement on the leniency or severity of the sentences. This isn’t an “investigation”. It’s rank amateur tabloid hackery.… The writer optimistically describes his work as an “audit”. In reality, he has observed a handful of sentence hearings at the Crown Court and selected some where non-immediate custodial sentences were imposed to support his preconceived thesis that the courts are “soft”.
Aug 14, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
A lot of people are asking for my “view” on the #BenStokes verdict. I didn’t see or hear all the evidence, and unless anybody was in court to observe what the jury observed, they are similarly poorly placed to offer comment.

The jury was not sure of guilt. That’s all we know. As I understand from reports, he ran a defence of self-defence/defence of another. It is for the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt (ie to make a jury *sure*) that a defendant was *not* acting in lawful defence of self/another.
Aug 9, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
In a crowded field, this may well be the stupidest thing you read today. Lowlights include the bold theory that flogging would be “a cleansing turning point” in the lives of tearaways.

And that state-enforced violence would make offenders “less likely to be dehumanised”.

Lilico also calls, intriguingly, for “a richer set of punishment instruments”.
Aug 7, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
No they don’t. Putting aside the basic error in terminology, the Sentencing Guidelines and the maximum sentences remain unchanged. All this means is that a tiny handful of unduly lenient sentences may be increased on appeal (“Attorney General’s Reference”). And with respect to the Solicitor General, it’s vacuous nonsense to assert that indecent images offences should be dealt with as severely as contact sexual offences. For one, the Sentencing Guidelines prescribe the complete opposite.
Jul 27, 2018 10 tweets 4 min read
The more I think about this, the angrier I become.

Innocence Tax? Silence
Legal aid slashed? Silence
Endemic disclosure failure? Silence
Innocents in prison? Silence
Victims failed? Silence
CPS & police on their knees? Silence
Courts closing? Silence

Now they care about justice I was at my character limit in that tweet. I would have liked to add quotation marks around “care about justice”. Because of course, as their voting records clearly show, they don’t.
Jul 26, 2018 5 tweets 3 min read
This is a hugely welcome report by @CommonsJustice. It confirms what criminal lawyers have been saying for years about the underfunding of the criminal justice system. [1/5] This is the take-home for the Ministry of Justice.

“We conclude that the under-funding of the criminal justice system in England & Wales threatens its effectiveness, and in doing so undermines the rule of law and tarnishes the reputation of the justice system as a whole.” [2/5]
Jul 20, 2018 16 tweets 9 min read
1. Today’s report by the Justice Committee into disclosure failings in the criminal justice system is absolutely damning. To save you reading in full (although you should), here are the highlights. [THREAD] 2. As for what disclosure is and its importance, see my thread here from last year:
Jul 18, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
After this thread yesterday, here are some further brief comments on today’s appeal by Tommy Robinson. [THREAD] This screenshot has been doing the rounds, showing the listing of today’s appeal. A couple of issues arise.
Jul 17, 2018 9 tweets 2 min read
So this is happening tomorrow. The appeal of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (Tommy Robinson) will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice. Some brief pointers on what to expect: [THREAD] 1. Robinson is appealing ONLY against the length of his committal to prison (13 months). He is *not* appealing against the finding that he was in contempt of court. This is hardly surprising given that he admitted the contempt at Leeds Crown Court, but some confusion remains.
Jul 14, 2018 6 tweets 1 min read
Good morning! Just a casual example here of Trump trying to interfere with our independent judicial process. Nothing sinister or dangerous to the rule of law. Hello to all you angry Trump apologists! Just to address a common comment:

There is a clear difference between e.g. the UK lobbying Iran concerning the judicial treatment of a UK citizen, and the US lobbying the UK government re an ongoing case involving a UK citizen.
Jul 9, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Not the biggest point of the day, but worth noting how this casual shuffling of the Attorney General to an entirely unrelated brief provides yet further indication of how unimportant Theresa May considers the legal officers in her cabinet. After all, it’s not as if the government needs its most senior lawyer at the moment. No gigantic legal and constitutional crises looming or anything.
Jun 27, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Apparently, since my blog started 3 years ago it’s had 1.3 million visitors. Now I have no frame of reference and so no idea whether that’s impressive, but what I know for sure is that if we all banded together we could successfully invade Luxembourg and repopulate it twice over. Some scientific proof for any doubters. You will see we could alternatively take the Solomon Islands.
Jun 14, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
Just the Legal Aid Agency casually insisting that a child is capable of running his own defence in a criminal court, cross-examining police officers and dealing with any arguments of law that might arise.

Legal aid therefore refused. Nothing to see here.

#TheLawIsBroken So to recap: a child will be forced to defend themselves at a contested criminal trial - examining witnesses, analysing the applicable law, arguing legal applications and making speeches.