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Ballot Announcement 22.08.22

Following another extensive period of consultation with ordinary members and leaders of the Criminal Bar, the third ballot which opened on 8th August has now closed. Over the course of these past 14 days 2273 of you cast your vote. The turnout exceeded that on the second ballot in June (2,055) and was significantly higher than that witnessed in the first ballot in March (1,908). Given that many members have been away during this month, the increased level of participation in this latest ballot speaks volumes about the strength of feeling amongst colleagues across all six Circuits.

We take great pride in the fact that our members have so consistently demonstrated such a deep commitment to the democratic process. It reflects an unshakeable underlying belief in the power of collective action and a demand to be heard.

You were asked to choose one option from a selection of three that reflected the principal views that emerged from the consultation process. The result of the ballot was as follows:

Option 1 (Cessation of all action) – 207 votes (9.11%) 

Option 2A (Continuation of current action) – 258 votes (11.35%) 

Option 2B (Escalation of action) – 1808 votes (79.54%) 

Every vote has been fully validated by the CBA administrator who has again ensured the complete integrity of the entire ballot process.

In accordance with the terms of the ballot, it follows that the CBA membership has voted in favour of Option 2B.

This means that the weeks of action, combined with no new instructions (which includes no returns), will come into effect on an indefinite basis from Monday 5th September.

Given that we are currently committed to a programme of weeks of action and no new instructions (which includes no returns), the current programme of action will continue in the interim period.

As such, the next scheduled week of action will commence on Tuesday 30th August.

Therefore, the last working day for criminal barristers participating in weeks of action pursuant to the ballot vote will be Friday 26th August.

Next Steps

  1. The CBA has prepared revised Guidance to its members to assist those who choose to participate in weeks of action. Please bear in mind that the Guidance applies to all cases in which you are currently instructed, including trials that are already underway. You should make precisely the same assessment as to the factors relating to the risk of harm whether you are mid-trial, pre-trial, or dealing with any other type of hearing.
  1. In relation to para 18(b) and (c) of that Guidance (notification letters to Judges and Solicitors) the CBA has also provided revised template letters that members may find helpful.
  1. As set out at para 24 of the Guidance, for those who seek additional advice, the CBA will continue to make available its helpline via [email protected]
  1. The helpline provides access to a dedicated panel of volunteer Silks who are ready to give guidance and advice to CBA members. These Silks will also provide support to any member of the Criminal Bar who faces a threat of judicial and/or regulatory sanction.
  1. We will continue to hold national zoom meetings for members of the CBA on each Tuesday of a week of action.  The access link and passcode for the Tuesday National Meetings will be circulated to all members the evening before.

Finally, this third ballot has reaffirmed our reputation as an open, inclusive and democratic association. Our members have always respected the outcome of a free and fair voting process, whatever the result. We will therefore be faithful to the ballot.

Our unity will forever be our strength.


Jo Sidhu QC – Chair
Kirsty Brimelow QC – Vice Chair
Laurie-Anne Power QC – Treasurer
Lucie Wibberley – Secretary
Mark Watson – Assistant Secretary

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