From Monday, criminal barristers will invoke a 'no returns' policy

From Monday (11 April), criminal barristers in England and Wales will commence ‘direct action’ in protest at the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) actions following the publication of the Independent Review of Criminal Legal Aid.

In March, the criminal bar voted to invoke a ‘no returns’ policy – where the barrister instructed on a case becomes unavailable, for example due to another case overrunning, barristers taking part in the direct action will decline to take on the case.

The aim is to disrupt the system through the withdrawal of the ‘goodwill’ that keeps the justice system running.

The Law Society has published