It's advisable that barristers don't attempt any hand gestures in court, although some are worse than others.

A barrister has been fined £250 for "raising his hand in a Nazi salute" and mimicking a German accent in court.

Thomas Davidson, who was called to the bar in 1973, was representing a defendant at Salisbury Magistrates Court before three lay magistrates when the Chair of the bench raised "the issue of his having used a German accent during the proceedings" and told him that this conduct had been "inappropriate". 

Davidson looked at the Bench and said "Jawohl" at the same time as raising a hand in a Nazi salute, according to a notice by the Bar Standards Board (BSB). 'Jawohl' means 'yes, indeed' in German, and in a military context has been used when soldiers address their superior officers.

More context is currently lacking - Davidson did not respond to a request for comment and the BSB's hasnb't yet published its full decision. However, the BSB's notice described the veteran barrister's actions as "seriously offensive and discreditable".

The matter has now been heard before a disciplinary tribunal hearing, where the panel deemed that Davidson had breached the barrister's code of conduct and "behaved in a way which was likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in him or in the profession".  

The tribunal reprimanded Davidson and fined him £250 and ordered that he pay £1,750 in costs. The decision is open to appeal.  

According to the barristers' register, Davidson is a member of Middle Temple and specialises in areas including crime, employment, family, immigration, intellectual property, residential landlord and tenant, and personal injury. 


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OldFart 01 December 23 10:08

Standard response to overbearing behaviour from the bench, no? Saddening to learn it might result in a complete sense of humour failure.

The fallen Madonna with the big b(.)(.)ies 01 December 23 10:10

He should have shouted 'Klop' like Captain Geering from Allo Allo

Question Man 01 December 23 10:20

Can we be sure that Salisbury even has a Magistrates Court?

Has anyone ever actually been there in person? Is it even there on the maps? Or perhaps it is on the maps, and they just put up fake signposts to it in a circle around the town to ensure that those attempting to verify its existence simply travel around in endless loops until losing all hope and collapsing under the weight of their own ennui?

Either way, it's all very fishy don't you think?

Even handed 01 December 23 10:44

Can you imagine how much the SRA would have fined a solicitor for similar behaviour? Add two noughts to the fine and one nought for the costs.

Anonymous Anonymous 01 December 23 10:55

I thought that Barristers were highly intelligent people. Not this one!

Anonymous 01 December 23 11:02

Yes of course it exists - Salisbury has a very fine cathedral with the tallest church spire in the country, which rises to 123m (404ft).  It is a very good reason to visit if you are a simple misunderstood tourist, from say Russia ...

Spotty Lizard 01 December 23 11:29

Immigration barrister commits tedious and tired socialist trope of equating immigration authorities with Nazis non-shocka.

Anonymous 01 December 23 11:58

"Salisbury has a very fine cathedral with the tallest church spire in the country, which rises to 123m (404ft)."

Well, that's what Wikipedia says, but we all know that anyone can write anything they like on there, can't they?

Has anyone actually seen it with their own eyes? Or been up to the top and confirmed that the so-called 'Magistrates Court' is actually at there at the summit of the spire?

Perhaps the whole point of them saying that it's so tall is to discourage you from trying to climb up all of the steps to see?

Anonymous 01 December 23 13:13

Perhaps he didn't understand that the joke was that Basil Fawlty was narcissistic and personality disordered and therefore utterly unsuited to be a hotelier. And even then they had to drop a moose on his head to make the gag work.

Perhaps he thought it was just a bit quirky.

Anonymous 01 December 23 14:19

Huge rise in islamaphobia and antisemitism around the country: barrister does nazi salute and the reaction is “don’t be a silly billy, put your arm down and pay a small fine”. Why is law less diverse than other professions and unrepresentative of the wider population? A mystery for the ages…

Anonymous 01 December 23 15:28

@Spotty Lizard 11:29 - people firing out Nazi salutes in 2023 don't tend to be socialists, but you keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better.

The Hat 03 December 23 08:17

@15:28 Roger Waters is an example of the utter lack of self awareness of the sanctimonious left that comes to mind.

Of course socialists can be present and involved in anti-Semitism.

Spotty Lizard 03 December 23 15:04

@anonymous 01 Dec 15:28.

(1) people moaning about immigration restrictions do, in fact, tend to be left-of-centre.

(2) in point of fact, Nazism was socialist in ideology, and in name - literally the National Socialists. Back to school with you.

Anonymous 04 December 23 12:08

@15:28 - "people firing out Nazi salutes in 2023 don't tend to be socialists"

Quite right. As everyone knows, they're from the segment of the Labour party that aren't actually that fussed about the socialism bit of the manifesto but think that it's the right party for them because it's where all the other anti-semites go.

Anonymous 06 December 23 20:17

Spotty Lizard 03 December 23 15:04

(2) in point of fact, Nazism was socialist in ideology, and in name - literally the National Socialists. Back to school with you.

You poor sad dope. Just because you call yourself something it doesn't mean you embody it. Islam, for example, means peace. Have you hard of Islamic State?

Anyway... back to your nonsense.


Socialists, along with other left-wing political activists opposed the Nazi regime and were persecuted under it. The Communist Party and Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Germany were banned in 1933, along with the limitation of the power of all those who opposed Nazi rule. Many SPD members were arrested, sent to concentration camps, or exiled to Prague, Paris and London. The first concentration camp in Dachau, built-in 1933, was intended to inter the Nazi’s left-wing opponents. Hitler was also vocally critical of the “November criminals”—those who led Germany after the First World War and signed the Armistice and the Treaty of Versailles. These leaders were social democrats.

Anonymous 07 December 23 17:44

Next up from @20:17 a sparking intellectual treatise on how, actually, Stalin wasn't really left wing or a socialist because he locked up other communists.

Now, stop criticising socialism because the only problem with it is that someone hasn't done it properly yet and all the people in the past who said they were doing it properly were imposters.

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