Addenda - Sunday 26th July 2015 and Tuesday 28th July
On Thursday 23rd July, representatives of the solicitor side of the legal profession met with the Lord Chancellor (Michael Gove) over their concerns about fee reductions for criminal legal aid work and government plans to introduce "dual contracts" - (see previous post of 12th July).
The Criminal Bar Association (CBA) had balloted its members and obtained a vote in favour of supporting the solicitors - (Law Society Gazette - Criminal bar announces date for legal aid action ). CBA had instituted a "no returns" policy to be effective from 27th July.
The CBA was not present at the meeting with the Lord Chancellor. On Tuesday 21st July, the solicitor organisations updated the CBA as to a change of direction in the action being taken by solicitors - Statement - and here are the details of the revised tactics. The new tactics focus the protest of solicitors on Crown Court work.
A statement by the Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association was issued on the morning of 24th July. The CBA Executive Committee is to convene for an emergency meeting on Monday 27th July to consider the effect of the situation created by the new tactics of the solicitors.
Addendum 26th July 2015:
Here are some viewpoints as to what should happen at, and after, the Executive Coimmittee meeting.
Standing Firm and Holding the Line - Mark George QC - 25th July
The Survey, the Ballot and The Misunderstanding - John Cooper QC - 25th July 2015
The absence of the Criminal Bar Association from the meeting with the Secretary of State requires a full explanation. Even more importantly, the CBA Executive must decide on a clear course of action. The ballot of their members was to support the action of solicitors and such support was to commence on Monday 27th July.
.... and, on Friday 24th July, Jack of Kent blog looked at why there was an empty chair at the Gove meeting and said - " ... it appears that the CBA leadership saw the new protocol as their opportunity to get rid of the no returns police, and they seized it ...." - read The Empty Chair
Time will tell whether that viewpoint was right.
Addendum 28th July 2015:
Brief Statement of 27th July by Criminal Bar Association stating they are continuing to support the action by solicitors