Criminal barristers have voted to accept the government’s interim proposals for defence and prosecution fees in the Criminal Bar Association’s (CBA) ballot.
The association said today that 60.72% barristers voted to suspend action in the ballot which closed yesterday evening. Turnout was over 80%.
Each call-band - under 10 years call, between 10 and 20 years, and over 20 years - voted in favour of the government proposals.
CBA members had previously voted overwhelmingly in favour of action, with 95% of criminal prosecuting barristers and 94% of criminal defence barristers in favour of a one-day walkout.
Action was due to start on 8 July with a full day walkout planned across all criminal courts in England and Wales. Action had been due to escalate from then on.
CBA chair Chris Henley QC and vice chair Caroline Goodwin QC told members today: ‘Your votes express perfectly how passionate and determined we are to address the deeply damaging effects of cuts to publicly funded advocacy. Your votes have made the difference. The process of restoring and rebuilding our profession has begun.’
They added: ‘We have decided to suspend action for now. But we know that you are still angry. This offer is not a solution - but provides an interim position.’
On prosecution fees, the CPS has agreed that all fixed fees will be increased to the level of the advocates’ graduated fee scheme from September. It also says all refreshers will be paid from the second day of trial, rather than the third day. Full details can be found on the CPS website.
On defence fees, the MoJ announced that the issues of unused material, fees paid for cracked trials and uplifts in paper-heavy cases will be considered more quickly than planned. Proposals for change will be provided by the end of November.