Breaking: Rank and file barristers rebel against QCs’ wishes
Criminal barristers have voted to stop taking new work in a move that is set to cause chaos in the court system.
The vote saw 55% of the Criminal Bar Association’s (CBA) members back full strike action that will support solicitors in their ongoing battle to reverse cuts to their fees.
45% voted against, with the breakdown of the ballots coming in at 982 votes to 795. That represented a low turnout, with less than 50% of the CBA’s 4,000 members voting.
In taking this course of action, rank and file criminal barristers have gone against the wishes of CBA big wigs, who were against striking. This rebellion delighted commentators on Twitter.
The Criminal Bar rises. The Ballot success for the YES Campaign was contra to the wishes of Circuit and Professional Leaders. Powerful shift
— John Cooper (@John_Cooper_QC) July 15, 2015
Many expecting @TheCriminalBar to vote against such action. Its leaders were against. But grassroots livid; CBA leadership out of touch.
— Jack of Kent (@JackofKent) July 15, 2015
News of the vote came through just before Lord Chancellor Michael Gove appeared in front of the Justice Committee this morning. Speaking minutes ago, Gove (pictured in action below) expressed disappointment with the result. In an interesting aside, he went on to reflect mournfully about the fact that the criminal bar was becoming an ever more unattractive option for bright graduates.
The CBA’s executive committee will meet later today to determine the next steps in light of the result. Unless there is some unexpected last minute intervention, expect courts to grind to a halt very soon…
The criminal bar votes to stop taking new work, which will bring the courts to a juddering halt.
— Rupert Myers (@RupertMyers) July 15, 2015