facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Barristers stage job action to protest planned cuts in legal aid

Jan. 7, 2014 at 1:35 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Barristers wearing wigs and gowns protested outside the courts Monday across England and Wales instead of appearing inside.

The job action was held to protest cuts in the budget for legal aid, the Guardian reported. Solicitors, who do trial preparation, joined the barristers, the trial lawyers, on the street.

Only one of the 18 courts in London's famous Old Bailey was in session, the newspaper said. Demonstrations were held in other London courts and in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Preston, Birmingham, Newcastle, Winchester, Bristol and Cardiff.

Nigel Lithman, chairman of the Criminal Bar Association, said the government's figure of 84,000 pounds ($138,000) for a criminal barrister's income is exaggerated. He said those working in legal aid cases made about 50,000 pounds ($82,000), which is reduced still further by chambers' fees, value added tax and other expenses to 32,000 pounds ($52,500).

"There has been a very large response by barristers," he said. "We had 150 people outside the court in Southwark, in south London, 150 in Manchester, 90 in Preston and many more in other cities."

While there appeared to be little disruption, that was because judges, aware the protest was being planned, had scheduled around it, Lithman said. Lawyers returned to work at 2 p.m.

In England and Wales, criminal barristers designated as queen's counsel can also appear as prosecutors. Lithman warned that cutting earnings would have a long-term effect on prosecutions, the Daily Mirror reported.

"We are going to see cases collapsing as they have already started to, there are cases of murders, murder trials, that have collapsed because of them being inadequately prosecuted -- that leads to enormous concerns for the victim's family," he said.

Topics: Old Bailey
© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Ukraine's new military doctrine on fast track for approval, says prime minister Ukraine's new military doctrine on fast track for approval, says prime minister
2
Texas driver allegedly kills girlfriend while in middle of a sex act Texas driver allegedly kills girlfriend while in middle of a sex act
3
Nikki Haley lead down to 10 points in S.C. re-election Nikki Haley lead down to 10 points in S.C. re-election
4
Joran van der Sloot is now a father Joran van der Sloot is now a father
5
Pakistani leader intimately connected to IS Pakistani leader intimately connected to IS
Trending News
x
Feedback