Following the barristers strike the Justice Secretary Dominc Raab has accused them of “holding justice to ransom.”
Raab was on holiday when the strike ballot was taken and Sir Keir Starmer has accused the government of doing “absolutely nothing” to resolve industrial disputes.
Members of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) in England and Wales have voted for an all-out strike which will start on 5 September.
Criminal barristers voted on industrial action with an indefinite, uninterrupted strike over an argument with the government over pay and jobs.
Raab wrote in the Daily Mail, “As Justice Secretary, I hear time and again that all victims truly want is the justice they deserve. My message to the CBA is simple.
“We are increasing your pay. Now your actions are only harming victims, increasing the court backlog, and hampering our efforts to make our streets safer.
“The criminal justice system deserves better.”
From the end of September criminal barristers are set to receive a 15% fee rise or £7,000 more each year.
However the criminal barristers are angry over the proposed pay rise as it will not take effect immediately and will only apply to new cases.
The criminal barristers are are demanding the pay rise is back dated to cases which are already sitting in the backlog waiting to be heard in the courts.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) previously said they have “repeatedly explained” to the CBA that backdating pay would require a “fundamental change” in how their fees are paid.
CBA vice chairwoman Kirsty Brimelow QC told BBC Breakfast on Monday, “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.”
The MoJ warned that more than 6,000 court hearings have already been disrupted.
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