Rebekah Brooks has recently been acquitted of all charges involving her role in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. However, serious questions need to be raised over the acquittal - primarily, the impartiality of the court hearing to begin with. It is of fundamental importance to a Liberal Democracy and the Rule of Law itself that barrister's remain independent and 'lay down the facts' impartially in the court of law. However, the discovery that Alex Cameron, #David Cameron's brother, headed the barristers chambers briefed with Brooks' defence, raises much concern over how democratic and separate our legal and political institutions actually are.
It is important to remember that the influence Alex Cameron may have had over the barristers is entirely speculation. However the possibility in itself is worrying, fuelling concerns that power in the UK is concentrated in the hands of the very few. David Cameron initially came under fire for his close relationship to Rebekah Brooks, confirmed with a revealing display of the two's private text conversations and regular meetings in North Oxfordshire. Much can also be inferred from the fact that the Prime Minister also attended Eton with Brooks' husband. It may be of personal interest of David Cameron therefore, to see Rebekah Brooks acquitted of all charges and it is unclear whether his brother would have also taken such a personal interest. Rebekah Brooks husband also seems to have maintained a good relationship with Alex Cameron however, once describing him as the 'star of our pack'.
One must also look to the wider implications of the Cameron family's close relationship to the Brooks'. Has the relationship been of a deliberate design by Cameron to gain the favour of media 'mogul' Rupert Murdoch, former owner of News of the World? The concentration of media ownership into the hands of Mr.Murdoch has arguably left him with considerable amount of power in swaying the voting public's opinion, therefore making a useful potential ally. His brother's favour with the media mogul would therefore create another personal motive for Alex Cameron to desire the acquittal of Rebekah Brooks.
Upon questioning by The Drum about a possible conflict of interest regarding the case, Alex Cameron was carefully evasive and did not provide direct answers.
"Under the current rules in England and Wales individual barristers practise from a set of chambers. A set of chambers is made up of self-employed barristers who share some of the expenses of practice (for example, rent and staff costs). But each of the barristers have separate practices...there is no corporate entity.''
"The Head of Chambers is merely the person chosen by the barristers in his set to be its head.
"The Chambers entry does not say that I acted for or represented Mrs Brooks. It merely describes by example, of which the Brooks case is one, some of the cases in which individual members of chambers have been involved, in that instance, Hugo Keith QC."
Contrary to Alex Cameron's innocent self portrayal however, the events so far, from the very beginnings of the scandal in 2006 to Rebekah Brooks acquittal have suggests a far more sinister aspect to the nature of the Camerons-Brooks relationships and the nature of British society in general. There appears to be a powerful minority controlling society, who seek to maintain that power amongst themselves and consider themselves to be above the law. However it is necessary that the rule of law maintain it's applicability to all and the accumulation of power should be limited and separated so as to prevent this kind of corruption. The separation of powers between the judiciary, legislature and executive being of fundamental importance to preventing encroachments against individual freedom and maintaining a 'just' society. In the maintenance of this separation of powers, the scrutiny of Alex Cameron is of the utmost importance.
The public perception of goings on between barristers in Three Raymond Buildings therefore may not be positive or helpful to Mr Cameron, and nor should it be. It must be acknowledged that the impartiality of Alex Cameron as a head of the Chambers is unlikely and this therefore required his removal of influence on all proceedings involving the defendant in question, Rebekah Brooks. Any minor instance of perceived political influence over legal proceedings must be negated instantly, in the interests of the Rule of Law and democracy.