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Criminal barristers call off strike

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Over 60% of CBA members vote to suspend action

Criminal barristers across England and Wales have accepted the government’s interim offer for prosecution and defence fees.

The Criminal Bar Association (CBA) confirmed on Friday that 60.72% of its members had voted to suspend action. Turnout was over 80%.

The decision comes just weeks after CBA members overwhelmingly backed direct action in response to the government’s cuts to legal aid, with 95% of prosecuting barristers and 94% of criminal defence barristers voting in favour of downing tools.

Action was due to start on 8 July with a full day’s walkout across all criminal courts in England and Wales. The quasi-strike action had been due to escalate from then on.

Responding to the ballot result, CBA chair Chris Henley QC and CBA vice chair Caroline Goodwin QC said:

“There has been unprecedented engagement and focus over the last six months to improve our working lives and conditions, to make our profession sustainable, diverse, and of the highest quality.”

They continued: “Your votes express perfectly how passionate and determined we are to address the deeply damaging effects of cuts to publicly funded advocacy. Your votes have made the difference. The process of restoring and rebuilding our profession has begun.”

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As reported by Legal Cheek, the interim deal sees all fixed fees increased to the level of the Advocates’ Graduated Fees Scheme (AGFS), refresher fees paid from the second day of the trial rather than the third day, and continuation fees in long-running trials will not be reduced from day 41.

For defence barristers, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has agreed to look at the issue of unused material, fees paid for cracked trials and uplifts in paper-heavy cases, sooner than originally planned. Further details regarding the offer can be found here.

The decision to call off action came just hours after a group of junior barristers warned the government not to attempt “divide and rule” tactics with criminal lawyers. In an open letter to the MoJ, the group claimed the deal was an attempt to divide prosecuting barristers from their defence counterparts, offering uplifts on prosecution fees but vague promises on defence rates.

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16 Comments

Anonymous

Now there is a surprise. If you don’t like the pay do something else.

(4)(9)

Anonymous

This comment must be from some form of pompous self entitled chancery type. Because it’s that easy to change. Maybe we want job satisfaction, maybe we enjoy that area and want fair remuneration.

How is it up there? Looking down on us mere peasants.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

It’s called market forces, dearie, you lot seem oblivious to them.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Can’t Be Arsed.

(4)(0)

The Doctor

“the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has agreed to look at the issue of unused material, fees paid for cracked trials and uplifts in paper-heavy cases, sooner than originally planned”

And 60% of the CBA agreed to this?

Cowardly

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Toothless!

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Sadly the long years of desperation and the increase of prosecution fees from insulting to merely outrageous ass enough to divide the profession.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Rules of the Internet, no. 73: Any comment that starts with the word “sadly” will contain nothing but melodramatic piffle.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

There is a clear conflict of interest between senior juniors and junior juniors. With a finite pot of money, those under 5 years call should seek fairer distribution of fees. Those at the top are doing perfectly fine, it seems at the expense of those more junior.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

The problem is that there are far too many junior juniors. What would help would be for their numbers to reduce by 30-40%.

(3)(0)

anon123456789

That’s a new one.

Doctors salaries are too small, so just cut the number of doctors.

Nice.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Maybe just create proper free private market for their services? US system is another extreme, but at least doctors earn decent amount of money. What they get in the UK is a disgrace.

(1)(3)

Anonymous

They marched them up to the top of the hill and they marched them down again….

(7)(0)

Anonymous

People don’t think they need lawyers until they get (wrongly) convicted, sent to prison and get it up the Gary Glitter.

(45)(0)

Anonymous

The only CBA leader in recent years who actually achieved anything – Michael Turner QC – is still jobbing around the criminal courts in a tatty gown. That’s the sort of leader we need. Not ambitious authoritarians with an eye on a pension.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

The tatty gown is a sign of prestige at the criminal Bar.

The tattier the gown, the more experienced the advocate.

I believe the phenomenon is known as ‘shabby chic’.

(1)(0)

Comments are closed.

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