Barristers vote in favour of direct action against government legal aid cuts

An overwhelming 96 per cent of the membership of the Criminal Barrister’s Association (CBA) today voted in favour of direct action against the government’s legal aid reforms, following a CBA membership survey. Thirty-five per cent of CBA’s membership responded to the survey, which, historically, is very high.

Barristers and solicitors took industrial action in January and March last year, which for the legal profession was unprecedented. Interviewed in the Guardian, CBA Chairman Tony Cross QC stated, “The proposed changes have no sensible economic foundation and will lead to irreversible damage to the criminal justice system. The proposed scheme will reduce competition, stifle innovation and paralyse the market as it becomes closed to new entrants.”

Please see our blog for more information on the government’s reforms to criminal legal aid, which involve making massive reductions to the amount of legal aid contracts available, while substantially reducing the legal aid fees received by law firms. The government has also slashed the legal aid budget, which has reduced by a third since 2009-10.

For the CBA’s press release and survey, please follow this link:

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Justice is under attack

The government is fragmenting the justice system, privatising policing, probation and prison services, closing courts, slashing the legal aid budget and making drastic cuts to funding. This will undermine the system, reduce access to justice and put public safety at risk.

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