Crime Team Statement on Action Against Legal Aid Cuts

Chambers was founded on a commitment to fight fearlessly for access to justice for all members of the community. We firmly believe that the continued provision of legal aid is fundamental to securing that right for everyone, regardless of means, social background, or country of birth.  

Over recent years, repeated cuts to legal aid have jeopardised access to justice for the poor and the vulnerable. In keeping with our founding ethos, 1MCB members have been active in campaigning against this assault on our society's most marginalised groups. In particular, we have: 

  • refused to attend court on the morning of 6th January and all day on 7th March 2014; 
  • been well represented at each of the meetings, marches and demonstrations that have been organised by the Criminal Bar Association, the South Eastern Circuit, Justice Alliance, Save UK Justice and the London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association;
  • responded (collectively and individually) to each of the consultations that has been issued by the Ministry of Justice;
  • lobbied MPs, ministers and the Justice Select Committee;
  • sought to raise the profile of the campaign by way of television, radio and webcast interviews, and by publishing articles in both the legal and mainstream press;
  • unanimously pledged not to sign up to QASA, nor to undermine our colleagues by accepting briefs on the 'roll out' circuits.

In line with our commitment to taking lawful direct action to defeat further cuts, no member of the Crime Team will be available to appear in publicly funded cases in the Crown Court in which they are not the instructed advocate, effective from 7th March 2014. Every effort will be made to inform our instructing solicitors well in advance of hearings which cannot be covered as a result of the instructed advocate being unavailable.

We thank our solicitors for their understanding and loyalty at this time.