UK High Court Judges Can't Agree On Twitter Joke Issue, Require Rehearing Of The Case
from the a-complete-farce dept
"Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!"Overly serious law enforcement officials saw that as a terrorist threat. It's worth noting that airport officials didn't seem to think it was a serious threat, but understood that it was just a frustrated passenger venting. Still, the case went forward and he not only lost but then lost again on appeal. The case seems to get more farcical each level up the chain it goes. The latest is that, when the case got to the UK High Court, it was heard by two judges who couldn't come to agreement, so the whole appeal needs to be reheard with a three judge panel. Why they didn't do that the first time around is not explained.
Either way, it seems bizarre that tweeting an obvious joke should not only lead to convictions, but such a long and extended judicial process. Talk about creating chilling effects. The case has taken on lots of publicity in the UK, with a number of celebrities pledging support. The BBC article has a quote from Chambers' supporter comedian Al Murray, who found the whole situation laughably ridiculous:
"Paul's tweet has gone the full distance from joke to tragedy to farce via the High Court. We've all got our fingers crossed and will carry on fundraising."