Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bar Strike Prediction

I have spoken in recent months about the Bar striking and refusing to accept new instructions from 3rd October 2005. I have applauded this stand against the current legal aid climate where cuts are made by various Government agencies and the legal profession is told to just get on with it.

The Bar strike is less than three weeks away, and I am going to predict now that the Bar strike is going to be called off. The Bar Council recently published a letter that has been circulated to it's members, part of that letter reads as follows:

"Early contacts with Lord Carter give us cause for some cautious optimism that he values the contribution that an independent referral profession of advocates makes to the criminal justice system, and that his recommendations will seek to build on the achievements of the existing GFS. There is no doubt that Lord Carter will be astute to identify and eradicate the inefficiencies in the trial system, but I believe that we will all have much the same object in this regard, since the elimination of inefficiency enables skill and effort to be fairly and properly rewarded."

"There is still a long way to go, but my team and I are intending to finalise an initial submission to put forward to Lord CarterĂ‚’s secretariat in the middle of September 2005."

I believe that anannouncementt will be made on the Bar Council web site before 3rd October 2005 stating that the Bar have called off the strike whilst they wait for the Carter Review to announce recommendations.


Anonymous said...

While I've a good deal of sympathy with the barristers, I've heard it argued by some of them that the proposed action would be illegal.

Barristers doing legal aid work, by this analysis, are independent contractors working for HMG, as are, for example, road construction contractors. If, the argument runs, road builders got together and agreed they wouldn't accept new contracts from the Government for less than so much a mile, that would apparently be illegal. Why, then, is it any different for barristers?

Gavin said...

I think that the Bar has tried to get away from them striking 'collectively' and that if they were to strike they would make individual decisions to do so so that it would not be a group action.