Barristers start action over criminally low legal aid rates

Stood on the steps outside Leeds Combined Courts in the pouring rain, criminal barristers showed the determination of their national strike action which began on Monday 27th June over legal aid rates.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

The seriousness of their action, refusing to attend court or take on new cases, shows the level to which they believed the criminal justice system is at breaking point.

The government’s current offer to raise rates by 15% falls far short of what is necessary, with junior barristers starting out on their career earning just over £12,000 a year. Many are leaving that field of law or the profession entirely as a result of such relatively low incomes.

This action, organised by the Criminal Bat Association, was one of several around the country and is the start of action that will escalate each week.

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