Government attacks on judges and lawyers are fuelling distrust of the courts and encouraging bogus notions of ancient “common law” being pushed by conspiracy theorists, according to the Law Society.
The use of bogus interpretations of common law to portray courts, fines and regulations, particularly in relation to the Covid-19, as invalid or wrong is becoming an increasingly common strand across the full spectrum of extremist groups, ranging from anti-vax conspiracy theorists to the far right.
The trend – which draws on non-existent common law and has seen activists handing out fake legal “writs” at schools and hospitals as well as alleging crimes by doctors and journalists – was a factor this week during the harassment of the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, when extremists in viral footage of the incident could be heard yelling at him to “protect the constitution”.
It briefly brought what is a fringe theory into the public eye, and the movement is growing at pace on social media channels, anti-vaccine newspapers and in the real world. Training classes in bogus common…