Members supports CBA action to protect the future and the integrity of the criminal justice system

8th April 2022

At the end of last year, Sir Christopher Bellamy’s review of criminal legal aid recommended a number of actions which urgently needed to be taken in order to stop and reverse the decades long decline of the publicly funded bar due to under investment.  His proposals were well-considered and based upon a multitude of evidence he had obtained from a wide variety of sources.

In recent weeks, members of the Criminal Bar Association have voted to adopt a “no returns” policy in reaction to the Government’s response to this report.  It is clear that the Government’s response is not sufficient to deal with the current crisis in the criminal justice system.  This view has also been endorsed by the Law Society.

The crime group at 3PB have always endeavoured to provide the highest level of service to those who instruct us, both in court and out.  However, with regret, we find ourselves in a position where we feel that in order to protect the future of our profession, and the integrity and quality of the criminal justice system and all who are affected by it, we have no option but to follow the CBA.

From Monday 11th April 2022, Members will adopt a “no returns” policy in relation to publicly funded criminal defence work.  We understand that this is likely to cause inconvenience to those who instruct us, for which we can only apologise, but we can assure everyone that we are only adopting this position as a last resort.  Our clerks have been and will continue to work tirelessly to deal with the consequences of adopting a “no returns” approach.