PR inexperience of ‘weirdly silent’ striking criminal barristers could cost them dear

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By Alex Aldridge on

The success – or otherwise – of striking criminal barristers’ campaign to prevent the dismantling of their profession will ultimately be decided by whether or not they can get the public onside…


As attorney general Dominic Grieve indicated to Legal Cheek last month, the government doesn’t think the Bar will be able to pull this off: “The criminal Bar would find itself in a very difficult position if it were to be seen to be resisting this move, because I don’t think that it is likely to have public opinion on its side in the arguments it is putting forward,” he said.

But others reckon that there may be more sympathy out there for criminal barristers than the likes of Grieve are estimating – especially if a clear message can be articulated about the dangers of handing the keys of the criminal justice system to companies such as G4S.

Ominously for criminal barristers, though, even on their big day of boycott of the northern courts, the government seems to be winning the PR war…

It hasn’t helped that the official Twitter account for the boycott meeting – @NotopctNorthern – is locked, meaning its messages can’t be retweeted.

It’s a shame, because the meeting seems to have been a big hit, hauling in 450+ lawyers to the Radisson hotel in Manchester. I guess we’ll get to read about how it went later…