Francis FitzGibbon

Francis FitzGibbon is a QC. He was chair of the Criminal Bar Association from 2016 to 2017.

Short Cuts: Locking On

Francis FitzGibbon, 10 February 2022

The​ Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which has just gone through the House of Lords and will soon return to the Commons, is a miscellany. Not all of it is controversial, but it has two highly contentious elements: first, the government wants to add more weapons to the state’s formidable arsenal of measures to restrict public protest. The House of Lords has thrown out...

Short Cuts: Raab’s British Rights

Francis FitzGibbon, 7 October 2021

DominicRaab is the eighth lord chancellor and secretary of state for justice since the Conservative Party entered government in 2010. The average tenure has been nineteen months, with a corresponding churn of junior ministers and special advisers. Kenneth Clarke, the first in the post, lasted 28 months, just pipped by Chris Grayling, whose disastrous term was the longest at 32 months....

From The Blog
3 August 2021

Common Sense: Conservative Thinking for a Post-Liberal Age was published in May by the self-styled Common Sense Group of around fifty Conservative MPs. Along with chapters on such themes as ‘What is Wokeism and How Can it be Defeated’, ‘The conservative case for Media Reform’ and ‘A Common Sense Model for Poverty’, are the reflections of two MPs on ‘The Judicial Activists Threatening Our Democracy’. The group has received favourable coverage from the Telegraph and the Express. Anyone who thinks that British courts have become a hotbed of anti-government ‘judicial activism’ should ponder two judgments given by the UK Supreme Court on 30 July.

From The Blog
16 March 2021

The 1819 Seditious Meetings Act fell into disuse but remained on the statute book until its repeal by the Public Order Act of 1986. Now it is being revived in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. This monstrous piece of legislation is intended to make it a crime to do something in public that causes, or risks causing, ‘serious annoyance’ or ‘serious inconvenience’.

From The Blog
14 January 2021

The Covid-19 regulations are draconian, inconsistent, obscure and inconvenient, but they are not unconscionable. They do not require me to do things that the state should never make its citizens do. They are proportionate to the threat that the virus poses to health services, and necessary to slow the spread of the disease and protect those services: or at least, they are arguably so. The law and the reasons for it make sense. The regulations are contained within statutory instruments. They alone are the law. They are the ‘rules’. They can be enforced with criminal sanctions. Guidance and advice are not rules and cannot be legally enforced.

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