Criminal bar strike off as Carter talks pay off

Criminal barristers who have been refusing instructions in the row over legal aid are returning to work, it emerged today (27 October).

The Midlands and Northern Circuits have been hit since 3 October by strike action, which saw hundreds of individual barristers refuse new instructions in criminal legal aid cases.

However the circuits’ leaders now say that members are returning to work following “constructive” meetings with Lord Carter of Coles, who is reviewing the legal aid system.

Michael Redfern QC, leader of the Northern Circuit, said: “The Bar has won the argument on legal aid pay, and individual barristers have shown their anger by refusing work across the North West.”

Midland Circuit leader Peter Joyce added: “Angry barristers have made their point, and the government knows what it risks if it fails to act to resolve the issue of low legal aid pay when Lord Carter reports.”