Garden Court North Chambers supports Northern Ireland Bar’s principled decision to refuse legal aid work

27 May 2015

Garden Court North Chambers stands behind the Northern Ireland Bar in its principled decision to refuse to accept Crown Court legal aid work under the new funding arrangements in that jurisdiction.

Members Mark George QC and Matthew Stanbury, along with door tenant Mark Barlow, undertake work in Northern Ireland, and will not be accepting any work under the new fee structure pending any further decision by the Criminal Bar Association of Northern Ireland and the outcome of judicial review proceedings against the Minister for Justice.

Matthew Stanbury says:

“As in England, the Legal Aid profession in Northern Ireland has been faced with unacceptable levels of cuts that threaten the future of the profession and the quality of service that we are able to provide to the public. Those accused of crime are entitled to expect a proper professional service rather than cut price standards. It is vitally important that we take a stand to ensure that access to justice is for the many, not for the few. No doubt the Criminal Bar Association of England and Wales will be closely following developments in Northern Ireland. Further to the recent overwhelming “yes” vote in the English ballot, we at Garden Court North Chamber stand ready to take whatever action is necessary to ensure the future of the independent criminal bar in both jurisdictions“.

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