Barristers’ fees for public work have ‘fallen by 60 per cent since 2008’

Barristers' fees for public work have 'fallen by 60 per cent since 2008'

Barristers’ fees for public work have fallen by 60 per cent since 2008, the Bar Council of Ireland has told a UN committee that will today hear a case concerning access to justice in matters of environmental law.

The Bar Council said a “severe” reduction in fees had led to barristers leaving the profession while others competing for work are causing “constant downward pressure on legal costs”, The Irish Times reports.

The submission to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe comes as it today hears the first case against Ireland under the Aarhus Convention, which Ireland ratified in 2012.

The Aarhus Convention establishes rights regarding access to information, public participation, and access to justice in governmental decision-making processes on matters concerning the environment.

The complainer, Kieran Fitzpatrick, has claimed that the State “has not taken sufficient efforts to ensure that the legal fees of lawyers involved in litigation are not prohibitively expensive”.

The Department of the Environment has rejected the allegations.

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