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Criminal barristers vote to end strike after accepting government pay offer | UK News



Criminal lawyers in England and Wales have voted to end their strike after accepting the government’s offer of pay.

The Criminal Bar Association (CBA) confirms the end of industrial action, which has brought cases to a halt.

In a statement on Twitter, it said: “The Crime Bar voted to accept the government’s offer.

“With 57% voting to accept the government’s proposal, the action will be halted from 6pm this afternoon.”

It comes after the justice minister proposed more reforms to the legal aid fee, which the government said amounted to another £54 million.

The CBA said the criminal justice system was still “lack of regular funding” but it would respect members’ decisions and end the strike.

Lawyers have been offered a 15% fee increase from the end of September – an extra £7,000 a year – but were told it would only apply to new cases.

The Justice Department said the improvement proposal applies the increase to “the vast majority of cases currently in crown court”.

Attorney General Brandon Lewis said he was “delighted that the lawyers have agreed to return to work”.

He added: “This breakthrough is the result of coming together and restarting what I hope is a constructive relationship as we work to reduce backlogs and ensure make sure victims see justice done sooner.”

The High Court has warned the delay caused by the strike may not be a good enough reason to keep the defendants in custody if the dispute drags on into November.

The attorneys started their summer strike – initially on alternate weeks and turned down certain jobs – before turning it into a continuous walkout.

They say their real wages have fallen by an average of 28% since 2006.

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