Message to Members – 22.06.22
You may have seen reports that the Lord Chief Justice has issued guidance to Judges concerning their approach to barristers of the Criminal Bar who participate in days of action over the coming weeks.
We understand that those who wish to participate in days of action will feel concerned about the potential consequences of not attending court.
To assist criminal barristers, the CBA issued guidance to our members which sets out the potential implications of participating in days of action, along with template draft letters to Judges and solicitors:
We reiterate the importance of having regard to the CBA guidance in order to minimise risk if you are intending to participate in a day of action. Specifically, we draw to your attention, further to the LCJ’s guidance to the judiciary, paragraphs 17 and 18 of the CBA guidance.
We repeat that the decision whether to participate or not must be made on an individual and case by case basis.
Days of Action
It is important to remind ourselves that 81.5% of the 2055 members of the CBA who voted in the recent ballot made clear that it was their intention to support days of action.
Indeed, following the reports of the LCJ’s guidance today, we have received many messages from members at all levels of seniority, and across all Circuits, that they remain firmly committed to participating in days of action.
Our colleagues are resolute that a message should go out to Government, and to the public, that there must be a swift and fair settlement of our reasonable demands in order to conclude this dispute in the long-term interests of the criminal justice system.
In particular, many QCs and leaders of the Criminal Bar have reaffirmed that, not only will they participate in the days of action, but they will also be attending the gatherings at the key court centres on the six Circuits and joining the zoom meetings which will be organised nationally and locally.
This evening there was a meeting of the CBA panel. The panel comprises 50 Silks. They continue to be available to answer your enquiries about participation in days of action via our helpline: [email protected] and to assist in the event that our members require intervention in their dealings with the judiciary and/or with our regulator.
The Criminal Bar is one family. As we move through the coming weeks, we will continue to maintain our solidarity and we will support each other. We have strength in numbers and we have the courage to see this through.
Jo Sidhu QC – Chair
Kirsty Brimelow QC – Vice-Chair
Laurie-Anne Power QC – Treasurer
Lucie Wibberley – Secretary
Mark Watson – Assistant Secretary