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Applicant Solicitors Regulation Authority Ltd
Respondent Farrukh Najeeb Husain

Case details

Allegation Breaches, Lack of Integrity, SRA Principles 2019
Outcome Strike off
Executive summary

The Respondent denied all the allegations.

He said that he had used Twitter and sent the messages referred to Allegations 1.1 and 1.2 in a personal capacity and that the Applicant was acting in excess of its regulatory remit with respect to them by attempting to discipline him for exercising his freedom of speech and expression outside his professional life. Whilst some of the Tweets may have been the result of bad and hasty drafting, they had not been anti-Semitic. He apologised if he had caused offence. The Respondent explained that Twitter was a fast paced and dynamic medium where insults are traded, and the use of language can be robust.

As to Allegation 1.3, he denied he had been offensive in his messages to the SRA’s Investigating Officer. However, he had not been under any obligation to respond in emollient terms to an unfair investigation of him by the SRA.

With respect to the alleged anti-Semitic Tweets, the Applicant was permitted by the Tribunal to call expert evidence to assist it with an understanding of an internationally recognised definition of antisemitism.

The Tribunal viewed all the Tweets both individually and collectively and applied the various definitions of antisemitism to which it had been directed (which included but was not limited to the IHRA definition). The Tribunal considered that at its core and without the layers of gloss which had been applied to the term, antisemitism is an expression that demonstrates prejudice or hatred towards Jews because they are Jews.

The test to be applied in assessing whether a statement is anti-Semitic is an objective one. The Tribunal found that some of the Respondent’s Tweets had been anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitic Tweets were inherently offensive and inappropriate. The Tribunal also found that other Tweets had been solely offensive and/or offensive, but not anti-Semitic.

The Tribunal found that the Respondent’s conduct by sending the offending Tweets and messages touched upon his practise as a solicitor and upon the reputation of the profession.

The Tribunal found all allegations proved on the balance of probabilities.

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