Statement of Doughty Street Crime Team in response to MoJ reforms to legal aid funding
Doughty Street’s Crime Team is appalled by the decision of the Ministry of Justice to implement AGFS reforms. Our chambers was one of many who submitted a detailed consultation response and financial data to the MoJ in order to demonstrate the flawed and misleading premise of these reforms and the impact on members in enacting them, particularly junior members of the bar, women, and those from ethnic minority backgrounds.
It is our view that this scheme represents yet another unacceptable and devastating reduction in funding of a criminal justice system which is already on its knees. We have balloted our members in accordance with the questions posed by the Criminal Bar Association. Our members are overwhelmingly in support of refusing instructions under this scheme and returns in respect of any cases which are funded under it. We will support any proposed action by the CBA. We support our colleagues across the bar and at chambers and solicitors’ firms who take action in response to these reforms.
Joel Bennathan QC
Head of DSC Crime Team
Deputy Head of DSC Crime Team