RESULTS OF SURVEY ON CLAR AND TAKING ACTION
The survey results are out and the Criminal Bar has spoken with one resounding voice.
Your votes demonstrate a unity of purpose within the profession and send a clear message to Government: that it is time to treat our advocates with the fairness, respect and decency that we deserve.
These were the votes cast by the 1,967 criminal barristers who completed the survey:
The Secretary of State for Justice has been in possession of the CLAR and its recommendations since 30.11.21. He has indicated that he will publish a full response by the end of March to be followed by a consultation period which may not conclude until the end of June. Do you agree that it is unreasonable for the government to delay publication of its full response until the end of March?
• 1785 (90.75%) answered yes
• 182 (9.25%) answered no
Do you agree that, if the government fails to give an undertaking by 14.02.22 to (a) publish its full response to CLAR, including a timetable for implementation and (b) complete the statutory consultation, by no later than the end of March, that criminal barristers should take action to include, as a minimum, no returns?
• 1787 (93.81%) answered yes
• 118 (6.19%) answered no
Do you agree that an increase “by some £35 million (15%) partly through an overall increase in fees, and partly through a restructuring of the AGFS” (CLAR 16.13) is insufficient to ensure the long-term viability of the Criminal Bar?
• 1891 (96.14%) answered yes
• 76 (3.80%) answered no
Do you agree that, if the government is not prepared to commit to a substantial increase of additional funding for the AGFS, that criminal barristers should take action to include, as a minimum, no returns?
• 1881 (96.46%) answered yes
• 69 (3.54%) answered no
The views of the Criminal Bar could not be more clear. Government must now take the urgent action necessary to resolve the funding crisis that has left the criminal justice system on its knees and driven out hundreds of our colleagues who could no longer sustain a career on pay that has declined in real terms over the last 25 years.
We have waited too long. We will wait no longer. Without the requisite undertakings from Government by 14th February, the CBA will move directly to a ballot for action. Solidarity at the Criminal Bar has never been stronger. There is no going back.
Jo Sidhu QC Kirsty Brimelow QC
Chair Vice-ChairView more news