Obiter regrets to report a falling out between two of the biggest names in the legal Twitterati: serial Brexit litigator Jolyon Maugham QC (79,000 followers) and best-selling author The Secret Barrister (112,000).
It started when Maugham, whose speciality is tax law, contributed an article in the New Statesman on rape trials. Citing the minuscule rate of convictions, he concluded: ‘We have a system that allows men to rape almost with impunity.’
The solution is to change the law, Maugham proposed, suggesting we start asking if ‘trial by jury serves the public interest in rape cases’.
Criminal law barrister Rebecca Herbert responded with a thread of tweets explaining why she disagreed with this idea. The country’s favourite anonymous advocate The Secret Barrister then weighed in with some observations, pointing out that Maugham’s speciality was not criminal law. He or she then observed: ‘Jo has also unfollowed me, which I find baffling as I have done nothing other than politely disagree with him. Very disappointing.’
Obiter trusts the pair will bury the hatchet. However the spat at least reduces by two the number of people who could actually be The Secret Barrister. Unless someone is playing an extremely clever game?