UK Criminal Barristers Strike Over Pay and Conditions

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The Facts

  • Eight in ten cases at London's Old Bailey [The Central Criminal Court of England and Wales] were put on hold on Mon., as barristers in England and Wales staged a mass walk-out over pay and conditions, exacerbating a severe backlog in crown courts.

  • The Criminal Bar Association (CBA) - the group representing the interests of the criminal bar - has argued that minimum legal aid fees must be introduced by at least 25%, while a criminal legal aid review (Clar) recommended a rise of 15% in Dec. The proposition has been rejected and barristers are now striking over the dispute.

The Spin

Right narrative

At least 400 cases, including vital trials of an alleged neo-Nazi and suspected sex offender, have been put on hold by this unnecessary strike. CBA members have already rejected a 15% increase in legal aid fees, which would equate to around £7K more per barrister, and now victims are having to wait even longer for justice.

Left narrative

The justice system is at its knees - the poor pay and conditions are making barristers impossible to recruit and now there aren't even enough to ensure all cases can get to trial. The strikes are a last resort to force the government to make the reforms needed to protect the legal system.

Nerd narrative

There's a 50% chance that England & Wales prison population rate will be at least 135 per 100,000 people (within 5 years), on the condition that Conservatives win the next UK general election, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Political split



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