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UK barristers stage first 'strike' over legal aid cuts

Published on Jan 6, 2014 9:01 PM
 
British legal professionals hold placards during a protest against cuts to the legal aid budget during a protest outside Southwark Crown Court in London, on Jan 6, 2014. British criminal case lawyers staged an unprecedented walkout on Monday, Jan 6, 2014, over cuts to the government's legal aid budget, briefly paralysing the court system. -- PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - British criminal case lawyers staged an unprecedented walkout on Monday over cuts to the government's legal aid budget, briefly paralysing the court system.

Hundreds of barristers in their black gowns and white wigs flocked outside the Old Bailey, England's central criminal court, and other courts up and down England and Wales for the half-day walkout - the first of its kind in British history.

Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative-led government is planning to slash 220 million pounds (S$460 million) from the annual 2 billion pounds legal aid fund - which pays for court representation and other services for those who cannot afford it - by 2018/19.

The government says Britain's legal aid system is the most expensive in the world and is seeking to cut its costs as part of its bid to reduce Britain's deficit.

 
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