Report on Tuesday's Mass Meeting

The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers welcomes the determination, shown at a 500-strong meeting of criminal solicitors and barristers, to escalate the campaign against Grayling’s proposals to decimate legal aid, and to withdraw their labour as part of that campaign.

The meeting, called by the Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association, the Criminal Bar Association and the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association, was attended by around 500 barristers, solicitors, and legal executives. It unanimously voted to oppose all the different cuts to legal aid and declared that the Ministry of Justice is not fit for purpose.

Speakers from the platform and the floor repeatedly called for barristers and solicitors to stand united and withdraw their labour from the Courts.  There was widespread dismay expressed from both the platform and the floor at the position of the Law Society not to stand in solidarity with their criminal members and colleagues by taking a firm stance to oppose the cuts and support direct action.

There remain discussions to be had as to when and in what form the withdrawal of labour will take place. The Haldane Society would encourage the various professional organisations to agree now that the legal profession will start by boycotting the courts – both civil and criminal – on a specified date and will consider escalating action.