Criminal barristers in England and Wales have voted in favour of an all-out strike in a row with the Government over jobs and pay.
Members of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) have been walking out on alternate weeks but were balloted on whether to escalate the industrial action with an indefinite, uninterrupted strike that would start on September 5.
The continuous walkout effectively begins next week because the current alternate weeks are ongoing. This means Friday will be the last working day for barristers before they walk out on Tuesday August 30.
This article is a must-read if you want to delve into the dispute:
CBA vice chairwoman Kirsty Brimelow QC said this is “last-resort action” over a demand for less money than it costs the Government for the courts to sit empty.
She told BBC Breakfast: “The effect (of the strike) will be that the courts continue to sit empty with trials and cases not being heard. It is a last-resort action.
“The remedy is for an injection of money into the backlog of cases, which currently stands at 60,000 cases, that barristers are working on that will cost the Government only £1.1 million per month.
“Currently, it’s costing much more for the courts to sit empty.”
But it was Michelle Heeley QC’s answer to a question on BBC News that will sting the government the most.
Heeley was asked: “If a country can’t exercise its justice system properly… what does that say?”
She replied: “It demonstrates the state the country is in at the moment… this is another pillar of society that is crumbling before our eyes.”