Barristers join picket lines across the country
Criminal barristers joined picket lines outside court buildings across England and Wales today in protest over the government’s legal aid reforms.
The decision to down tools comes a week after barristers voted overwhelmingly in favour of days of strike action, with the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) warning that the government’s proposed fee increases will not “keep the wheels of justice turning”.
The industrial action will initially see criminal barristers down tools for two days from today, with further strikes planned for the following weeks.
The Justice Secretary Dominic Raab described the action as “regrettable” and encouraged barristers to accept what he says equates to a “15% pay rise”.
Below is round-up of some of the more eye-catching images from the first day of protests.
I have heard a fair few leaders of the @TheCriminalBar over the last decade . None quite so powerful orator and advocate for a United stance than @JoSidhuQC . #Action4Justice pic.twitter.com/CeZt3GWq8m
— Jonathan Black 🟣 (@jonblackbsb) June 27, 2022
I gave up criminal legal aid after a 32 year commitment to justice: when I realised I was lucky to earn £8 per hour.
The criminal justice system is held together by goodwill. Underfunding creates miscarriages of justice. pic.twitter.com/VlVSZWmx6A
— Myles Jackman – Obscenity Lawyer (@MylesJackman) June 27, 2022
Striking criminal barristers hold pictures of dilapidated state of criminal courts, as they protest over underfunding of criminal justice system. pic.twitter.com/28G5yp8nmt
— Catherine Baksi (@legalhackette) June 27, 2022
— Russell Fraser (@russell_fraser) June 27, 2022
— Karlia Lykourgou (@KarliaLykourgou) June 27, 2022
Access to justice is fast becoming the preserve of the wealthy and the system is on the verge of collapse after years of cuts to legal aid. pic.twitter.com/x7JYP7jIfS
— Birmingham Trades Union Council (@TUCBham) June 27, 2022
— Betty Woolerton (@bettywoolerton) June 27, 2022
Barristers on Strike. Cardiff. 27.06.2022.
Barristers picket workplace over pay & Legal Aid cuts this morning. Legal Aid is part of welfare state, levelling field between rich who can afford lawyers & poor who cannot. pic.twitter.com/03pDSs9i38
— Adam Johannes (@DrRoundglasses) June 27, 2022
Powerful words from Jonathan Rees QC at Cardiff barristers' picket. He says colleagues have been "driven out" of the jobs they love because they could not afford to stay, and describes junior criminal barristers' median income of just £12,200 a year as "scandalous" pic.twitter.com/WAvlWw60ZC
— Conor Gogarty (@ConorGogarty) June 27, 2022
— Sasha Simic (@sashasimic) June 27, 2022
✊✊✊Supporting criminal barristers today outside Leeds Combined Courts today, striking and protesting over legal aid rates which have been cut and held down leading to an exodus from the profession.#Action4Justice #leeds #solidarity pic.twitter.com/u46h0Bclm0
— Leeds SP (@leedssp) June 27, 2022
— Garden Court North (@gcnchambers) June 27, 2022
Outside Manchester Crown Court this morning, members of @CircuitNorth @TheCriminalBar are on strike, protesting a failure to increase Legal Aid rates, amounting in a real terms pay cut of over 20%. pic.twitter.com/QEBG69jLnG
— Squeaky Grumpasaurus (@squeakygrump) June 27, 2022
This article will be updated throughout the day.