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Barristers Confirm Legal Aid Strike

Barristers Confirm Legal Aid Strike

Barristers across the UK will go on strike next month to protest against the Government’s proposed legal aid cuts. Thousands of legal representatives will not attend court on the morning of January 6, the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) confirmed, in a move that could cause major delays to ongoing trials.

The “non-attendance” demonstrates the “strength of feeling” among barristers regarding the plans for a 30% reduction to legal aid, the CBA said. Its chairman Nigel Lithman QC warned that the £200 million cut to legal aid budgets would be an obstacle to lawyers entering the profession and carries the risk of undermining criminal prosecutions.

“The Government says it is tough on crime, but is stripping the criminal justice system of anyone able to adequately prosecute serious criminals or defend those falsely accused,” he said. “We merely seek a pay freeze. Who could be more reasonable than that?”

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman rejected the CBA’s claim that a majority (60%) of criminal barristers who earn under £40,000 a year would be adversely affected. The proposed cuts apply only to “very high cost” cases that last longer than 60 days and account for under 1% of the Crown Court’s annual proceedings, she added.

We have one of the leading teams of criminal law specialists in West London and the South East. If you are facing a serious criminal charge, you can contact a member of the IBB’s Criminal Defence team, call us on 08456 381381 or email criminaldefence@ibblaw.co.uk.