Twitter users backing Paul Chambers' fight against conviction for 'menacing' message
Donations are being sought to help fund the High Court appeal for the man fined and given a criminal conviction for sending a 'menacing' Twitter message.
After a week of discussions with leading barristers, Paul Chambers announced yesterday that he will challenge the decision to convict him under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.
Stephen Ferguson and Sarah Przybylska, the barristers who represented Chambers at the Crown Court hearing, also continue to be involved.
However law firm Preiskel & Co, which has been representing Chambers pro bono so far, is unable to cover the costs of a High Court appeal explained Green.
Following the #IamSparticus ‘uprising’ on Twitter last week, Chambers’ supporters have launched an @TwJokeTrialFund campaign to raise the money to cover the costs of this new legal challenge. When Computeractive last looked, more than £5,600 had been raised. Donations can be made online via Paypal.
Mr Green said it was not surprising that Chambers has become an unlikely cause célèbre. Not only was the message not menacing but one made out of exasperation and the case has huge implications for freedom of speech for everyone posting on social media sites such as Twitter.
In an article written for the New Statesman, Green said it was "brave of Paul to take the case forward" because of the implications for Chambers personally if he loses and also due to "the wider implications" for "English criminal law and practice".
He said the arrest of Chambers and the recent court decisions appear to show “an unfortunate and casual attitude to imposing criminal liability and even using the power of arrest for simple speech acts.”
People can follow Green's updates on the case on his Twitter feed and see how well the fund is progressing at the campaign page.
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