Barristers threaten strike action over legal aid reforms
Michael Turner QC, who represents 3,600 lawyers as the chairman of the CBA, said the changes will remove historic rights and demolish the principle that lawyers should be independent.
“I want to take industrial action, if it’s necessary,” said Mr Turner, describing it as “the ultimate sanction” his members could take if the Government fails to listen to their objections.
“I want to do it on the right basis, namely that the public understand we are taking industrial action to protect the court system as we know it, and to protect their rights.”
The Government is committed to opening up the legal market to non-lawyers, but Mr Turner said companies such as Eddie Stobart, Tesco and G4S will compete to take over all the legal aid criminal law work in a given area.
“They will turn around to the solicitors and the Bar and say, ‘We have the contracts, you come and work for us for £25,000 a year’. Meanwhile they will skim off vast profits, funded by the taxpayer.”....Read more