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Solicitors and Barristers abscond from court in protest against legal aid cuts

06 Jan 2014

Solicitors and Barristers abscond from court in protest against legal aid cuts

 

Thousands of criminal case solicitors and barristers across England and Wales have chosen not to attend court today in protest of the governments £220 planed cuts to legal aid.

 

In a statement The Criminal Bar Association said the unprecedented action came with anger at "boiling point".

 

Lawyers walked out from what is arguably England's most famous court - the Old Bailey and “mass non attendance also affected Magistrates' courts.

 

Forensic services and forensic expert witnesses who provide comment and case reviews for the defence have already been affected by the cuts with the legal aid body issuing a new lower fee cap on forensic services across the board effective from the 1st Jan 2014. The new caps include scientist involved in reviewing the forensic evidence for the defence in cases across the criminal charge spectrum from drug offences to reviews required in cases involving some of the most serious crimes of manslaughter and murder.

 

The Ministry of Justice said efficiencies were necessary to ensure legal aid remained "sustainable". They went on to tell the BBC that they "[] entirely agree lawyers should be paid fairly for their work, and believe our proposals do just that".

 

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