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Lawyers on Twitter share fake ‘Supreme Court facts’ as prorogation case begins

Lawyers on Twitter have been sharing fake facts about the Supreme Court as it considers whether Boris Johnson acted lawfully by suspending Parliament.

Protesters outside the Supreme Court in London where judges are due to consider legal challenges to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament.
Protesters outside the Supreme Court in London where judges are due to consider legal challenges to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament.

By Megan Baynes, PA

Lawyers on Twitter have been sharing fake facts about the Supreme Court as it considers whether Boris Johnson acted lawfully in suspending Parliament in the run up to Brexit.

Eleven justices are hearing appeals over three days, arising out of two separate legal challenges brought in England and Scotland over the legality of the prorogation.

Anonymous legal blogger, the Secret Barrister, wrote on Twitter: “There’s going to be a lot of misinformation over the next few days about the Supreme Court, so as a public service, I’d invite lawyers to share some little-known legal facts.

“I’ll start: Each Supreme Court judge enters court to their own Diana Ross song.”

Senior Lecturer in public law and human rights at Birmingham Law School, Alan Greene, said: “Every time a barrister says ‘my learned friend’ the judges all have to say raise their glasses, say ‘my learned friend’ and have to take a drink of their beer. The last judge to do this has to drink a shot as a forfeit.”

Commercial barrister in London, David Wolfson, said: “If Counsel is asked a difficult question you can phone a friend or poll the public gallery.

“Any close decision is checked by Lord Sumption for VAR.”

Other Twitter users weighed in with their own fake facts.

One said: “Recently, due to live streaming, they’ve started borrowing theatrics from WWE and started using tables and stepladders. Climbing up higher so as to slam a book down whilst making a point.”

Another Twitter user wrote: “Lord Lloyd-Jones has no legal training but was appointed after winning the little known Channel 5 series ‘Judge Idol’.

“Unlike him the two runners up, Rinder and Judy have gone on to stellar careers either side of the Atlantic.”

Another added: “It is illegal to play the Wombles theme tune in the presence of a Supreme Court judge.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s motive for an “exceptionally long” prorogation was to “silence” Parliament, Supreme Court justices heard today.

A crowd of about 40 protesters, holding signs saying “Defend democracy”, “Reopen Parliament” and “They misled the Queen”, gathered outside the court ahead of the hearing.

Among them was a man dressed as Robocop and another calling himself the “Incredible Sulk” – wearing a blond wig with an Incredible Hulk costume – who was inspired by Mr Johnson comparing himself to the comic book character in a recent interview.

PA

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