A statement from Drystone Chambers silks
25 June 2022
A letter from Drystone Chambers silks, published in The Times, Saturday 25th June 2022.
The proposition that members of the Criminal Bar might withhold their labour would have been treated as preposterous, risible even, by previous generations of lawyers. Yet we are not a different breed from those who preceded us. We have, however, been treated very differently. Trust in the Ministry of Justice has been stretched to breaking point. The criminal justice system remains chronically underfunded. The day-to-day experience of the criminal barrister is marred by the resulting inefficiencies. The judiciary depends on the Bar to make the system work, and to an extent that would astound our more fortunate forebears. It is against this background that we read with dismay the letter of the Lord Chief Justice dated 22 June, the effect of which is to direct judges to treat the barristers upon whom they rely as worthy only of being reported to their regulator for misconduct.