Criminal barristers to strike as row over legal aid escalates

Walkouts from subsequent Monday

Barristers throughout England and Wales will down instruments subsequent week as the row between the felony bar and the federal government over legal aid charges steps up a gear.

The Criminal Bar Affiliation (CBA) confirmed this morning that 81.5% of the two,055 members who voted had agreed to stage a sequence of escalating walkouts from subsequent Monday. Barristers are additionally being inspired to stage protests outdoors numerous court docket buildings throughout the nation.

The information comes some two months after the felony bar first applied a ‘no returns’ coverage — barristers agree not to settle for instances which are returned by colleagues who’ve a diary conflict — over their longstanding considerations with legal aid funding.

Though the federal government mentioned it had accepted an unbiased assessment’s suggestion to thrown an additional £135 million a 12 months into the felony legal aid sector, the CBA argues the rise in charges below the deal will “not be sufficient to retain enough criminal barristers to keep the wheels of justice turning”.

The economic motion will initially see felony barristers down instruments for 2 days from subsequent Monday (27- 28 June), with additional strikes deliberate for the next weeks. If no deal is reached, the CBA says the strike motion will escalate with one extra day every week till week 4, at which level the strike motion would happen on alternating weeks.

In a press release, CBA chair Jo Sidhu QC and vice-president Kirsty Brimelow QC mentioned:

“This extraordinary commitment to the democratic process reflects a recognition amongst criminal barristers at all levels of call and across all Circuits that what is at stake is the survival of a profession of specialist criminal advocates and of the criminal justice system which depends so critically upon their labour.”

The continued: “Without immediate action to halt the exodus of criminal barristers from our ranks, the record backlog that has crippled our courts will continue to inflict misery upon victims and defendants alike, and the public will be betrayed.”

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