Top London chambers silent after one of its barristers declared ‘victory to the intifada’ on 7 October

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Top London chambers silent after one of its barristers declared ‘victory to the intifada’ on 7 October

Garden Court ignores requests to acknowledge that Franck Magennis called for 'victory' against Israel and changed his Twitter banner to a photo of Hamas breaching the Gaza security fence before its slaughter

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

A London barristers’ chambers has ignored multiple pleas even to acknowledge that one of its members chose the day Hamas slaughtered 1,400 people in southern Israel to declare on social media: “Victory to the intifada.”

Franck Magennis, who was called to the Bar in 2016, also changed his profile picture on Twitter/X to an image of Hamas terrorists breaking through the Gaza security fence before carrying out the massacre.

When a shocked Jewish News reader complained to Garden Court Chambers, its director of operations and human resources refused to acknowledge Magennis’ behaviour, replying: “The complaints about our barristers and staff we investigate are those about the quality of service they provide in their professional capacity as a barrister or a member of staff. Chambers will not therefore be responding to your complaint about Franck Magennis’ tweets.”

Several subsequent attempts by Jewish News to elicit any kind of response from the chambers were also ignored. Finally, a marketing member of staff said that her manager had told her that “we would not be commenting on this inquiry”.

Franck Magennis called for ‘Victory to the intifada’ on the day Hamas terrorists slaughtered 1,400 Israelis.

Garden Court, a chambers with 200 barristers, many of them KCs, says on the home page of its website that it is committed to the upholding of the rule of law. The JN reader, who complained both to the Bar Standards Board and the police, said he suspected that Magennis might possibly be in breach of the Terrorism Act in respect of “clear support for Hamas, a proscribed organisation”.

The barrister is described on the Garden Court website as practising in public, civil and criminal defence. “He has expertise in legal claims connected to Palestinian emancipation from Israeli occupation”, his description reads. He has posted on Twitter/X his intention to push for a “legal precedent” for Palestinian asylum seekers “confirming that Israel is an apartheid state, and that it persecutes Palestinians on the basis of race, religion, nationality and political opinion”.

Franck Magennis

The JN reader, who asked to remain anonymous, said Magennis’ posts were “outrageous and inflammatory” and amounted to a condoning of the massacre. He was unsure whether the heads of chambers were aware of the content of the posts but believed they could be damaging to the reputation of Garden Court.

Neither the Bar Standards Board nor the Police Counter-Terrorism Internet Referral Unit was prepared to comment on an individual case.

The Bar Standards Board, in response to Jewish News, said: “The BSB does not comment as to whether or not it has received any information about potential misconduct by a barrister, regardless of how any information comes to our attention. Such matters are dealt with in accordance with the procedures set out in detail on our website. These procedures are usually conducted confidentially, unless they result in a listing for a Disciplinary Tribunal hearing”.

The Metropolitan Police said that its Counter-Terrorism Referral Unit (CTIRU) had received “more than 1,300 reports from the public about terrorist content online linked to the conflict in the Middle East”.

Its spokesperson told JN that the unit was “dedicated to identifying terrorist and extremist material online. It works with service providers to seek the removal of such material. If material breaches UK terrorism law, police will carry out an investigation.”

Though police would not comment on the complaint about Magennis, the spokesman said: “We can advise that every piece of material referred to the CTIRU is assessed by a counter terrorism officer. We encourage people who see material online that they are concerned may be terrorist or extremist to report it to the team at”.

Barristers are self-employed so Magennis is not a member of staff or a partner at Garden Court Chambers.

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