The members of 5PB remain extremely concerned about the possibility of access to justice for all and proper representation in the light of the structural and financial changes proposed by the Ministry of Justice.
5PB maintains its support for our colleagues who are solicitors and the LCCSA in their actions against the Ministry of Justice, in light of the drastic & gratuitous cuts already made as well as those proposed for next year. We will do nothing to undermine their action on 31st March & 1st April. On the contrary, we will support them by not accepting instructions in the Magistrates' Courts on those dates nor returns of any hearing in the Crown Court that cannot be covered by a Higher Court Advocate because they choose not to work.
The new VHCC rates are unsustainable. Each member of 5PB has taken the individual decision not to accept VHCC contracts since the reduction in rates and will not accept such complex and important cases whilst the new rates apply.