December 18 2014 Latest news:
Monday, January 6, 2014
Cases due to be heard at Ipswich Crown Court were disrupted this morning as a result of the first ever barristers’ strike.
Three courts had cases listed at 10.30am but judges in all courts were forced to adjourn the hearings until another day or until the end of the strike at 2pm.
Barristers are refusing to take part in morning sessions at Crown Courts across England and Wales in a protest at government plans to cut legal aid funding.
Barristers have chosen not to attend proceedings at courts in cities including London, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Winchester, Bristol and Cardiff.
Criminal Bar Association chair Nigel Lithman said the “strike” had the backing of almost every chambers and accused Justice Secretary Chris Grayling of “manipulating” official figures to falsely portray lawyers doing criminal aid work as high-earning “fat cats”.
The Government plans to cut fees as part of a bid to slash £220 million from the legal aid budget by 2018/19 - reducing them by as much as 30% in the longest and most complex cases.