Justice secretary Dominic Raab has said it would be “totally unwarranted” for barristers to go forwards with strike action, after the Ministry of Justice said it would invest an extra £135m a year into criminal legal aid.
The comments come after the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) said 94.34 per cent of criminal barristers had voted in favour of plans to strike from 11 April, unless the government agrees to a series of pay reforms.
In hitting back at the CBA, the justice secretary said it would be “totally unwarranted” for barristers to strike, as he noted the result of the ballot was announced before the government announced its reforms.
Speaking to the House of Commons, Raab said “it is totally unwarranted for the CBA to now proceed with strike action,” as he called on the CBA to take a “more constructive tone”.
The government’s reforms are set to see the MoJ act in line with the recommendations of the Bellamy report which said £135m is the minimum sum needed to nurse the criminal legal system “back to health after years of neglect.”
However, in response the government’s announcement, the CBA said £135m a year will not be enough to “keep the wheels of justice turning”.