UK: Women’s rights barrister faces suspension for accusing judge of “boys’ club” attitude

More than 60 lawyers, campaigners, politicians and academics are backing a women’s rights lawyer who faces suspension after challenging a judge for having “a boys’ club” attitude in a ruling on a domestic abuse case.


Charlotte Proudman, a family law lawyer who specialises in violence against women, vented on social media that Sir Jonathan Cohen downplayed domestic abuse to which her client claimed she had been subjected by her ex-husband.

She was angered by the judge referring to their relationship as “tempestuous” and his use of the word “reckless” to describe the alleged domestic violence.

The 35-year-old lawyer is now being investigated by the Bar Standards Board, the regulatory body for barristers in England and Wales, and faces losing her licence for a year, or having a fine imposed, over her comments.

In the tweet thread that triggered the disciplinary proceedings to be launched, Dr Proudman said: “I do not accept the judge’s reasoning. This judgment has echoes of the ‘boys’ club’ which still exists among men in powerful positions.”

She was aware Sir Jonathan belonged to the Garrick Club – a private members’ club which has faced ongoing criticism for refusing to accept women members – when she fired off the tweet thread in April 2022. Dr Proudman lost the family law case.

Several high-profile supporters have now called for the Bar Standards Board to drop the disciplinary investigation.



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UK: Women’s rights barrister faces suspension for accusing judge of “boys’ club” attitude