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Lawyers in England and Wales Strike for Higher Compensation in Pro Bono Cases

A two-day strike broke out in England and Wales on Monday. Not the civil servants, train staff or nursing staff, but criminal lawyers demand a pay increase for pro bono cases.


In London, dozens of lawyers, many in their gowns and matching wigs staged a demonstration in front of the Old Bailey, the courthouse. Similar actions took place in other cities, including Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff.

In addition to an increase in the compensation they receive from the state through legal aid, the lawyers are complaining about their working conditions. They threaten to refuse new cases because the backlog since the coronavirus has risen to about 58,000 cases. “If we don’t act now, there will be no criminal justice system in five years. There will simply be no one left to prosecute and defend,” attorney Sarah Jones said.

In response, Justice Minister Dominic Raab said the “deplorable action will only delay justice for the victims”.

The loss of purchasing power in the UK could spread wage dissatisfaction to other sectors, such as postmen and teachers.

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