In a long-running pay dispute, criminal defence lawyers in England and Wales have gone on strike.
The walkout disrupted eight out of ten cases at London’s Old Bailey, according to barristers outside the court.
The strikes, according to Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, will “delay justice,” as courts already have a backlog of 58,000 cases.
Barristers have rejected a proposed 15% increase in their fees for doing legal aid work and will strike over the next four weeks.
Members of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) have said this is insufficient and have called for a minimum wage increase of 25%.
The CBA’s chair, Jo Sidhu QC, stated that they have already lost a quarter of their specialist criminal barristers in the last five years.
The government pays for barristers under the legal aid system to ensure that suspects who cannot afford lawyers are properly advised and represented.
The government determines the pay rates for barristers who work on legal aid cases.
Dozens of barristers in robes and wigs have gathered outside the Old Bailey as two murder trials, one involving a teenage suspect, have been postponed.
Others have gone on strike outside a number of high-profile courts, including the Crown Courts in Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, and Bristol.