UK criminal barristers Monday began an indefinite strike in order to force the UK government to increase legal aid funding. Barristers have been striking sporadically since June and voted overwhelmingly to escalate their action to an indefinite strike last month.
Since 2006, criminal barristers in England and Wales have suffered an average decrease of 28 percent in real earnings. In 2021, 300 criminal barristers, 40 percent of whom were junior barristers, left the profession. The average annual income for criminal barristers in their first three years of practise is just £12,200 ($14,047 USD).
The Criminal Bar association for England and Wales stated that the strike “is taken as a last resort, driven by our collective resolve to ensure the viability of the junior criminal bar, in order to guarantee the future sustainability of the criminal justice system for all of our communities, across the country.”
Strike participants will gather September 6 at 9 am outside the Supreme Court to demonstrate.