Laurence Fox is being sued by former Stonewall commissioner Simon Blake, Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp and drag artist Crystal following an online controversy in October 2020
Laurence Fox has requested a jury trial for his smear battle against three people he called “pedophiles” on Twitter, as his lawyers argued that a the judge may show ‘involuntary bias’.
The actor is being sued by former Stonewall commissioner Simon Blake, Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp and drag artist Crystal following an online lawsuit in October 2020.
Heather Rogers, QC said that no one had suggested that three of her clients were pedophiles, adding that Mr Fox’s case was “he was using a rhetorical device”.
By contrast, Mr Fox – who founded the Reclaim Party and was unsuccessful as a candidate in the last London mayoral election – is fighting back against the trio over tweets accusing him of racism in a exchange following Sainsbury’s decision to celebrate Black History Month.
AFP via Getty Images)
At Thursday’s hearing, the actor’s attorneys asked for the case to be decided by a jury instead of a judge – which is now highly unusual in defamation cases.
Laurence attended the hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, seated behind his lawyer in a navy suit.
Alexandra Marzec, representing Mr. Fox, told the court her client had opposed the lawsuit to “remove his name from obscenity” about being called racist.
Ms Marzec said a jury would be better at reaching fair verdicts “based on the social and cultural context of this case”.
She continued: “For a question like this, ‘what is racism?’, a judge is not aided by knowledge of the law, or is a skilled jurist or even high intellectual capacity.
“The person is supported by his or her own life experience and knowledge of the English language.”
Lawyers said juries are also more likely to be diverse than a single Supreme Court judge.
Ms. Marzec added: “All 12 people combined their life experiences and usage of the English language to determine the natural and ordinary meaning of that word… A simple jury would do well. that’s more than a judge.”
In written arguments, the attorney said the actor would be vindicated in a more valuable way if he were successful in his counterclaim before a diverse jury, as the decision would “not may be rescinded on the basis of laziness that a white judge sided with a white man who denied being racist”.
She also wrote three of his tweets were not intended “or be received or construed by anyone as a factual statement that any of the claimants are in fact ‘pedophiles’. erotic’.”
Dave Benett / Getty Images for Walpole)
Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Ms. Marzec later argued that judges could be subject to “involuntary bias”, as a College of Justice document on equal treatment had an “ideological” definition of racism.
She then added: “I’m talking bias here, and I’m not suggesting that any judge would disobey his judicial oath.
“We’re talking about how the public will perceive this.”
Heather Rogers QC, for the trio, countered this claim.
“It’s a bad argument… It’s a guide to how you treat people in court, it’s not the law,” she said.
The lawyers added in their submission that they “cannot see any good reason for the court to order a jury trial in this case”.
“There’s nothing in here,” she said.
The judge hearing Fox’s bid for a grand jury trial, Mr. Justice Nicklin, has yet to rule on how the trial will be heard.
However, the senior judge said that the jury could come up with those with “real prejudice or real prejudice against one or more parties”.
The judge also said that the judge hearing the trial will remain involved in the case, adding that jurors “will not be left like sheep on an empty headland”.
The hearing will end on Thursday afternoon with a decision likely to be made at a later date.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/laurence-fox-demands-jury-trial-26825709 Laurence Fox asks for jury trial in smear battle with people he labels "pedophiles"