UK : Barristers walk out of courts in strike over pay


Barristers are on strike across England and Wales in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Eight out of 10 cases at London’s Old Bailey were disrupted by the walkout, barristers outside the court said.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said the strikes will “delay justice”, as courts already face a backlog of 58,000 cases.

Kirsty Brimelow QC, deputy chair of the Criminal Bar Association, said a proposed 15% pay rise would not happen until the end of next year.

By then, she told the BBC, it would be too late to help and would not do enough to stem the flow of junior barristers leaving the bar.

Criminal barristers – who represent people in court – have been striking over legal aid payments.

Under the legal aid system, the government pays for barristers to ensure suspects who can’t afford lawyers are properly advised and represented.

The government sets pay rates for barristers doing legal aid work.

Dozens of barristers have been rallying outside the Old Bailey in their robes and wigs, as two murder trials at the court – one involving a teenage suspect – were unable to get under way.