Court cases have had to be cancelled in Boston this morning (Monday) after defence solicitors have taken action in a 48 hour protest against Legal Aid cuts.
Although the solicitors cannot officially strike, it is understood all those due at Boston Magistrates have ‘made themselves unavailable’ for duty within the court.
It is in support of industrial action by probation offices in protest against cuts to legal aid and the privatising of offender rehabilitation services. It is not yet confirmed whether any probation officers at Boston have taken part.
According to court listings sent to The Standard, 13 cases were due to be heard this morning, and are all understood to have been sent away. Up to 47 cases were due to be heard today – it is not yet clear what will happen to the afternoon cases..
The action aims to bring the criminal justice system in magistrates and crown courts across England and Wales to a standstill.
One solicitor taking part in the protest has told The Standard that during and following the action the solicitors would be working to rule to ‘grind the system down’.
He said solicitors across the country had made the decision to take the action after feeling let down by the Law Society, which he said ‘weren’t necessarily supportive’ during recent talks.