The two-judge Divisional Court of the High Court has not been able to come to an agreed decision on the “Twitter Joke Trial” appeal and so has ordered a new hearing before three judges.
On 8 February Lord Justice Gross and Mr Justice Irwin heard the appeal by case stated of Paul Chambers against his conviction by Doncaster Magistrates’ Court under section 127(1) of the Communications Act for sending a “menacing” communication. The message in question was a tweet expressing Chambers’ jokey exasperation at Robin Hood Airport being closed.
There is no new date set yet for the hearing. A split divisional court is exceptional, and it appears that this may be only the second time it has happened this century.
Prominent supporters of the campaign in support of Chambers include Stephen Fry, Graham Linehan, and Al Murray. There is a support fund for legal fees of barristers and the many other expenses of Chambers in fighting the case.
David Allen Green is the New Statesman’s legal correspondent and is acting for Paul Chambers in the appeal. His legal work for Paul Chambers is being funded separately from the support fund.