Criminal barristers escalate to indefinite action over legal aid fees

Criminal barristers, who have been struck by withdrawing from defence case work on legal aid on various days since June, have now escalated to taking indefinite action.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

The Criminal Bar Association held a series of rallies outside courts around the country. Around 20-30 barristers attended the rally in Leeds.

As was explained by barristers attending the rally, with legal aid fees not increasing in several years, then the have been increasing numbers of junior barristers dropping out of criminal law leading to a huge backlog of cases.

Many barristers fear for the future of the profession and the right to representation and a fair trial if fees don’t go up to a level that ensures a decent income. Some junior barristers are earning less than the minimum wage at present.

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