Dinah Rose is a leading QC. She is also President of Magdalen college in Oxford but for how much longer? Rather like SNP MSP Joan McAlpine, Ms Rose is a solid lefty with impeccable woke credentials but now she is in the eye of a storm. Her crime? Doing her job.
In the Cayman Islands, same-sex marriage is currently illegal. This was successfully challenged in court in March 2019 but that ruling was overturned in November of that year and now there is a further appeal and Ms Rose is batting for the Cayman Islands Government. Her past position on LGBT rights is clear and supportive. Streams of former students who are gay have come forward to support her, noting how she has supported them when they felt victimised or unhappy about their sexuality. But that is not good enough for the woke legions including, I am afraid to say, my hero Mr Peter Tatchell who want Magdalen to sack her.
I hope those making these demands would agree that everyone and every organisation however evil and loathsome we may find them as individuals has a right to a fair trial or a fair hearing in Court? That to me is a given although, in this era of free speech denial, I suspect far too many snowflakes might actually disagree. If they do so, they no longer believe in real justice however loudly they scream that this all that they seek in this world.
But should we shun those who act for folks or organisations whom we find repellent? In extremis, would we say that anyone acting for someone standing trial for their life as an alleged war criminal or a serial murderer in some jurisdiction where that is a capital crime should thereafter be professionally shunned? In which case, folks would swing knowing that they had perhaps only very poor or no representation. Is that fair? Is that justice?
Since there is no suggestion at all that Ms Rose is in any way homophobic, how does her other professional work impact her ability to work at Magdalen doing whatever a college President does?
Let me be clear. I hope Ms Rose’s clients lose the case. Why on earth should LGBT folks not be allowed to suffer the misery of marriage and the subsequent bitter divorces just like the rest of us? But the suggestion that a mob of students and new media warriors should ensure that she also loses her job is just so 2021.