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CBA Press Release 21.05.15

Tony Cross, chairman of the Criminal Bar Association, said:


“The Criminal Bar Association has conducted a survey[1] of its members in order to gauge better the depth of concern amongst the profession about the Government’s proposals for the Dual Provider Scheme.  The response for such a survey was unprecedented and 96% of those who responded have urged the CBA to take action to press the Government to think again. 


The proposed changes have no sensible economic foundation and will lead to irreversible damage to the Criminal Justice System (“CJS”).   The proposed scheme will reduce competition, stifle innovation and paralyze the market as it becomes closed to new entrants. 


Spending on legal aid has already dropped by 1/3 since 2009/10, meeting government targets several years ahead of schedule.  No other sector of Government spending has borne such brutal cuts.  There is simply no room or need for more.


The overwhelming support of our members demonstrates the seriousness of our purpose: our commitment to effective access to justice for all our citizens.


We know that as Lord Chancellor, the Secretary of State for Justice understands the importance to society of a healthy and effective CJS. We remain committed to constructive dialogue with the Government to ensure that our country has a CJS that is fit for the 21st Century. 


No barrister wishes to withhold his / her labour.  It is a measure of the extreme nature of our concern that so many of our members are contemplating such action.”


[1] These proposals were sent out in a survey of the near 4,000 strong membership of the CBA, which ran from 5 May 2015 until 5pm 19 May 2015.

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