NI: NI barristers continue boycott of criminal cases despite failed challenge to legal aid reform
Barristers will continue to turn down criminal cases in protest of legal aid reforms in Northern Ireland, The Irish News reports.
Gerry McAlinden QC, chairman of the Bar of Northern Ireland, told the newspaper that criminal practitioners “have indicated that they are resolute in their current action of not appearing in such cases”.
A meeting of the Bar of Northern Ireland on Monday heard that the industrial action would continue despite a High Court judge refusing to quash the new legal aid rules last month.
The Bar intends to appeal the ruling, in which Mr Justice Paul Maguire upheld complaints about “two specific aspects” of the changes.
Mr McAlinden QC said: “It is a source of major concern that we now face a period of prolonged action which will only further deepen the difficulties, pressure and backlog already evident in the system.”
More than 500 criminal cases are said to be unable to proceed because of the dispute.