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The Times apologises to Magdalen President for “incorrect” reporting

Dinah Rose KC received an apology in an open court and damage payments from The Times. On 21 November 2022, the paper erroneously suggested that Rose, the Magdalen president, had been “ruled against for recklessness by the Bar Standards Board”.

Rose tweeted on Tuesday, 16 May that The Times and its legal editor would apologise to her in court on the same day for “the libel they published about me last November”, relating to her participation in a case opposing same-sex marriage in the Cayman Islands. The newspaper had previously reported that the Bar Standards Board had told a Caribbean LGBT rights group that Rose’s interpretation of legal rules “might possibly amount to evidence of recklessness”.

Rose had claimed that her professional obligations required her to take on representation of the Cayman Islands government in the Privy Council case under the “cab rank” rule. Although her participation in the case came under fire, including from students here in Oxford and from the Oxford LGBTQ+ Society, many lawyers, including the appellants in the Cayman Islands case, sided with Rose.

The Times removed their original story after the Bar Standards Board issued a clarifying statement on 22 November, 2022. They also issued an official apology online early Tuesday morning, where they admit their original reporting was “incorrect”. The Times continued: “The Board made no ruling against her and found no evidence of recklessness. We accept that under the constitutional principles which she cited, the Bar rules did not allow her to refuse a brief for the Cayman Islands government in a case concerning the right to same sex-marriage. The article was therefore misleading. We apologise to Ms Rose for the distress caused, and have agreed to pay her substantial damages and legal costs.”

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