Burnley Crown Court delays as barristers protest

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Proceedings at Burnley Crown Court were delayed this morning (Monday) as barristers withdraw their services in protest at proposed cuts to legal aid.

Not officially described as a strike as barristers, in effect, are self-employed, the walkout is in protest at government plans to slash legal aid fees by up to 30%.

Barristers and solicitors outside Southwark Crown Court, London, during a nationwide strike against Government plans to cut fees as part of a bid to slash �220 million from the  legal aid budget by 2018/19. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday January 6, 2014. 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". See PA story POLITICS LegalAid. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Barristers and solicitors outside Southwark Crown Court, London, during a nationwide strike against Government plans to cut fees as part of a bid to slash �220 million from the legal aid budget by 2018/19. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday January 6, 2014. 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". See PA story POLITICS LegalAid. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The barristers were joined by solicitors in the action.

It is the first time barristers have withdrawn their labour, according to the Criminal Bar Association, and the first time the two wings of the legal profession have taken co-ordinated, national action.

The protest has been co-ordinated with the Justice Alliance, which is supported by trade unions, charities and other organisations.

Proceedings at Burnley Crown Court were expected to resume as normal this afternoon.

Our video shows barrister Ramin Pakrooh reading a statement outside Bristol Crown Court

 

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