Barbara Hewson, a barrister at Hardwicke chambers in London.
She has said that the age of consent should be lowered to 13 in an attempt to end the "persecution of old men."
You have to stop for a moment to try and get your head around the stupidity of a supposed intelligent and educated woman advocating paedophilia is okay.
Her legal chambers unsurprisingly are said it is shocked by her call.
So, she wants to end the "persecution of old men" when they commit a crime, her call is prompted by the story of disgraced broadcaster Stuart Hall.
Mr. Hall is 83 years old; he is guilty of 14 counts of sexual abusing children, one child I understand as young as 9 years old.
The correct place for him is prison.
The row flared up after an article for the online publication Spiked by Barbara Hewson, who specialises in reproductive rights.
She says it is also time to the end of anonymity for complainants.
Of Hall’s crimes, she simply writes it off as "low-level misdemeanours".
Indecently assaulting little girls, the youngest aged nine, is "low-level misdemeanours", does she think that their parents consider it so?
I doubt that.
In a statement, Hardwicke Chambers said:
"We are shocked by the views expressed in Barbara Hewson's article in Spiked. We did not see or approve the article pre-publication and we completely dissociate ourselves from its content and any related views she may have expressed via social media or any other media outlets."
The NSPCC said to hear such "outdated and simply ill-informed" views from a highly experienced barrister "beggars belief".
A number of high-profile figures have been arrested under Operation Yewtree such as the entertainer Rolf Harris, the former pop star Gary Glitter, the DJ Dave Lee Travis, the comedian Jim Davidson and the PR guru Max Clifford.
All deny any wrongdoing.
As a child I grew up watching these people on television, and the revelations about Jimmy Savile must have come as a shock to many, not just what he did, but the fact that everyone at the BBC appeared to know about it, and no alarms bells were sounded.
Hewson argues that "the post-Savile witch-hunting of ageing celebs echoes the Soviet Union" and it was not difficult to see why some elderly defendants "conclude that resistance is useless".
"But the low-level misdemeanours with which Stuart Hall was charged are nothing like serious crime."
"Ordinarily, Hall's misdemeanours would not be prosecuted, and certainly not decades after the event. What we have here is the manipulation of the British criminal justice system to produce scapegoats on demand. It is a grotesque spectacle."
The barrister went on:
"It's time to end this prurient charade, which has nothing to do with justice or the public interest. Instead, we should focus on arming today's youngsters with the savoir-faire and social skills to avoid drifting into compromising situations, and prosecute modern crime. As for law reform, now regrettably necessary, my recommendations are remove complainant anonymity, introduce a strict statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions and civil actions and reduce the age of consent to 13."
I think that none of her ideas will ever see the light of day.
If a person is accused, it is up to the Police to investigate, that hardly merits echoes of the Soviet Union, and if a person is innocent, then we should as we do now put our faith in a jury, who in the main get it right.
Peter Watt, director of the NSPCC helpline, said:
“These outdated and simply ill-informed views would be shocking to hear from anyone but to hear them from a highly experienced barrister simply beggars belief. Stuart Hall has pleaded guilty to abusing children as young as nine years old; we think most people would agree that crimes of this nature are incredibly serious. Thankfully the law, and most people, are very clear on this matter. To minimise and trivialise the impact of these offences for victims in this way is all but denying that they have in fact suffered abuse at all. Any suggestion of lowering the age of consent could put more young people at risk from those who prey on vulnerable young people. And we must strongly defend the right for victims to remain anonymous and to ask for justice no matter when they choose to come forward”
"Many who are abused are bullied, blackmailed and shamed into staying silent, often well into adulthood. We must always be prepared to act no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. The actions of those who speak out also protect others from abuse and give confidence to other victims to come forward."
Hewson is regularly ranked as a leading junior by the Legal 500 in the fields of public and administrative law, human rights and civil liberties, and professional discipline and regulatory law, according to her chambers' website.
She has won cases in the European court of human rights, the Supreme Court and the high court of the Republic of Ireland.
If she walked into any of the above and used her current views, they would throw her arse out into the street.
I think her views disqualify her for ever being consider for the position of Judge.
As to reputation, that’s gone!
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University