Times newspaper pays substantial damages to lawyer ridiculed for taking on man-woman marriage case

May 16, 2023

The Times has issued an apology (£) and paid “substantial damages” to Dinah Rose KC, who represented the Cayman Islands Government as it sought to block same-sex marriage.

Dinah Rose argued that there was no right to same-sex marriage. The Privy Council agreed in a landmark ruling given in March 2022.

The Times admitted that its reporting on Ms Rose was “incorrect” and “misleading”.

Throughout the case, Dinah Rose received “abuse and threats” for taking a brief which opposed same-sex marriage. LGBT activists also said she was not a fit person to be President of Magdalen College, Oxford – a position she has held since 2021.

It all started in 2019 when LGBT activists used legal action to try to get same-sex marriage permitted via the Cayman Islands courts. The Chief Justice agreed that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. But the Cayman Government then successfully defended it case all the way to the Privy Council in London.

After the Privy Council ruling, activists complained about Dinah Rose to the Bar Standards Board (BSB). The complaints said it was unethical to take the brief from the Cayman Islands Government. On 21 November 2022 the Times wrongly reported the Board had ruled against the barrister for “recklessness” in taking the case.

Dinah Rose has always argued that barristers are required to act on the ‘cab-rank’ principle. They take cases whether they agree with their clients or not. Ms Rose has certainly acted for LGBT clients. But she also represented the late Lillian Ladele, the Islington marriage registrar forced her out of job because of her Christian beliefs about marriage.

How sad that The Times newspaper wrongly impugned the reputation of a senior barrister, just because she defended a Government that believed in marriage between a man and a woman.

It is gratifying to know that LGBT activists have failed in their bully-boy tactics. Well done to Dinah Rose for standing up to them.