A lawyer who made a Nazi salute during a court session has been fined by their professional governing body and given a formal warning.
The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has determined that Thomas Davidson, a barrister with over 50 years of experience, conducted himself in a manner that could harm the public’s trust in him and the legal profession.
A group of three individuals determined that he engaged in professional wrongdoing that violated the code of behavior for the Bar of England and Wales.
Davidson was penalized with a £250 fine for his actions, which took place during a hearing at Salisbury magistrates court on February 7th of the previous year. Additionally, he was instructed to cover costs amounting to £1,750.
The BSB has yet to release its complete ruling, which was initially reported by Legal Futures. However, a summary on the board’s website states that during a trial where he represented a defendant in front of three lay magistrates, Mr Davidson was approached by the chairperson about his use of a German accent during the proceedings. The chairperson informed him that this behavior was inappropriate. In response, Mr Davidson looked at the bench and said “Jawohl” while making a Nazi salute, which was deemed highly offensive and discreditable.
Jawohl means “yes, indeed” or “yes, sir” and is often associated with the German military. Davidson has 21 days to appeal and the BSB website says his sentence has yet to take effect.
He is registered as a lawyer at CHL chambers in north London and at 160 Fleet Street chambers, where he is a “door tenant” – a member of the set but does not work from the chambers’ location.
The website for the chambers at 160 Fleet Street states that Davidson has expertise in criminal law and also has experience in immigration, family, and commercial law. He previously worked as a crown prosecutor and served as a fee-paid immigration judge from 1992 to 2016. In addition, he has been teaching commercial law for over 20 years.
Fleet Street Chambers said it was the first it had heard of the matter and declined to comment further. The Guardian also attempted to contact Davidson through CHL chambers.