CBA Announcement – 09.09.22
The nation now is in mourning for Her Majesty the Queen.
Demonstrations/public gatherings cancelled
Out of respect for the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, the demonstrations/public gatherings planned for next week will not now take place.
Nor will there be attendance at central lobby in Parliament next week.
Details of CBA national zoom meetings/regional meetings will be notified soon as possible and once the State mourning arrangements are confirmed.
Demonstrations/gatherings the following week will be kept under review.
There has been no movement from government and so the action continues, in accordance with of 22 August 2022. Criminal law barristers continue not to accept new instructions/returns and continue not to attend court.
This is a critical stage.
The action is having substantial impact and resolution is a logical government step. The crisis is not caused by barristers.
On an economic level alone, the ongoing cost to the criminal justice system of additional hearings and adjournment of trials and empty courtrooms is likely to outstrip the amount required to resolve this action.
Meeting with the Lord Chancellor
I have a meeting with the new Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice on Thursday 15 September 2022.
Update in relation to Custody Time Limits
A number of senior judges have refused to extend custody time limits in cases where there is the absence of a defence barrister due to ongoing action. To date, extension of custody time limits has been refused by Judges at court centres up and down the country including Bristol, Isleworth, Bolton, Leicester, Lincoln, Woolwich and Manchester (Minshull Street).
Some of these cases are the subject of expedited judicial review by the CPS, others are not.
Their judgments are clear that the CBA action increased gradually, giving government plenty of space and time to resolve it. The judgments spell out that the government has had ample time to resolve the legal aid dispute and ongoing crisis in the criminal justice system. The applications to keep defendants in prison as trials are adjourned, therefore, are failing at Crown Courts.
Applications now are open to the Hardship fund, launched on 5 September. .
Court sitting arrangements during the period of mourning
All courts are scheduled to remain open, except for the day of the state funeral.
Some Crown Courts are holding eulogies. Paying respects and attending those ceremonies is unrelated to the ongoing barristers’ action. Obviously, you must attend such ceremonies if you wish to do so.
Condolences to the Royal Family
Many of our members are very upset at the passing of the Queen. Many have met her; others attended her garden parties and for others she has been the constant through this country’s tumultuous times. She is the only Monarch we have known. Irrespective of differing views on the institution, the Queen’s public service has been immense.
There will be a State Book of Condolence and well as Books of Condolence around the country.
But if you wish to send messages of condolences through the Criminal Bar Association, please do send them to Aaron and we will collate them and ensure that they are forwarded to the Royal Family.
Thank you all for the ongoing action and for standing firm for the criminal justice system.
With all support,
Kirsty Brimelow KC
The Criminal Bar Association