Obiter notices that our friends at the bar got themselves into a frenzy overnight regarding their representative body’s apparent desire to unmask the much talked-about blogger and author the Secret Barrister.
In a survey sent to barristers ahead of next month’s Bar & Young Bar Conference 2018 Survey, the Bar Council, along with the Times newspaper, asked whether it is justified to make harsh criticisms behind the ‘cloak of anonymity’ and if the secret barrister should be unmasked.
However even discussing the prospect of revealing the true identity of the author and Twitter supremo, provoked concern.
Gerard McDermott (@McDermottQC) exclaimed on Twitter: ‘Many of us are wondering what this is doing on an email from the Bar Council.’ @seanjonesQC chipped in: ‘I don’t think the BC should be promoting the question and I hope they didn’t approve it’. Barristers then shared screenshots of their response to one of the questions which asked them to ’explain in one sentence the biggest threat to the justice system’. Their answer? Unmasking the Secret Barrister of course.
But criticism wasn’t just reserved for the Bar Council, some barristers questioning why the Times is interested in unmasking the SB.
The eponymous barrister him (or her)self then got in on the act tweeting: ‘Have to say I’m a little surprised that, at a time when the justice system is at crisis point, the focus is on whether to unmask a whistleblower trying to draw public attention to the problems. But hey no. #VoteNo.’
Concerned, the bar council quickly responded: ‘We are confident the Bar will answer ‘no’ and send a clear message to those seeking to unmask @BarristerSecret that we don’t want it.’
Obiter senses a bit of backtracking from the council here.