Prosecutors threaten trial walk-outs in CPS pay row

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Criminal barristers in England and Wales are threatening to walk out of trials or refuse new work over a pay row with the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Criminal Bar Association says rates for prosecution work have not risen in 20 years and barristers can receive as little as £46.50 for a day’s work.

In a CBA survey, 95% of barristers said they would strike to change the rates.

The CPS said it was in the process of reviewing barrister fees to make them “fair, affordable and sustainable”.

The government announced extra funding for criminal defence barristers’ trial fees last year after they went on strike in protest at a new system for determining their legal aid payments.

But the CBA has described the relationship between barristers and the CPS as “broken”, saying it wanted to ensure that its members who carry out publicly-funded work are “fairly and properly remunerated”.

“It is unsustainable to carry on like this,” it added.

The CPS said it understood the wish for the review to be agreed quickly but it would take “at least four months”.

It added: “There is a significant amount of research and analysis needed to make sure we get a broad and deep understanding of the issues with the current schemes.”