of 5,000 signatures

To HMCTS, Ministry of Justice and Lord Chief Justice,

Petition text

We are solicitors and barristers who attend the criminal courts on a regular basis. On 1 July 2020 HMCTS released a COVID-19 recovery document. [1] This includes a plan to immediately extend the operating hours of the criminal courts. In a coordinated announcement, the Lord Chief Justice and the Vice President of Tribunals indicated that these extended hours would include weekend listings. [2]

The backlog of cases in the criminal courts is not due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It is the result of years of underfunding of our criminal justice system. It is the inevitable outcome of selling off courts, of reducing judges’ sitting days and of other cost-cutting measures. We and our representative bodies have been banging this drum for years.

Not only has the Government ignored our warnings, it has overseen the obliteration of our profession. It has been entirely unmoved by respected legal aid firms closing down, duty solicitors and criminal barristers leaving the profession in droves, and pupils and trainees earning less than the Real Living Wage. It has left the courts – our places of work – leaking, filthy and broken. Viciously low means thresholds for legal aid have forced defendants to represent themselves when their livelihoods, families, mental health and liberty are at stake.

Now we are told it is “all hands to the pump”. We are expected to attend hearings during our evenings and weekends when we need to spend time with our families, and to recuperate from exhausting days and nights in courts and police stations, in order to fix a disaster which is entirely of the Government’s own making. We are told to do so for no extra funds, without our representative bodies having been consulted in advance.

We will not do it. Our goodwill has run dry. The undersigned will not attend a single court listing outside of regular court hours. Not under any circumstances. We want to clear the backlog, but in a way which builds towards a sustainable future for the criminal justice system, and which affords dignity to ourselves, our clients, and court staff.

Yours sincerely, 

The barristers and solicitors in the criminal courts of England and Wales

Signatories in alphabetical order:
Abbie James
Abigail Nixon
Acb Warner
Adeela Khan
Adrienne Wright
Aideen Mc Mahon
Aileen Tring
Alan Jones
Alastair Douglas
Alexandra Monaghan
Alice Aubrey-Fletcher
Alice de de Coverley
Alison Marks
Amanda Cook
Amarjit Rai
Amos Waldman
Amy Levitt
Andrea Nash-Harding
Andrew Costello
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Hall QC
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Oliver
Andrew Taylor
Andrew Tucker
Andrew Vanzie
Andrew Wynne
Angela Claire Aldridge
Angharad Monk
Angus Mathieson
Ann Cotcher QC
Anna Bond
Anne Watson
Attiq Malik
Aurindam Majumdar
Barbara Placido
Barry Mccullock
Barry Newton
Belinda Ariss
Ben Lawrence
Ben Stuttard
Benedicte Balande
Beth Stirling
Bill Gresty
Brenda Quearney
Bridgette Hibbert
Brinder Soora
Briony Molyneux
Caitin Evans
Caitriona Nevinson
Camilla Rents
Carmel Wilde
Caroline Harrisc
Caroline Liggins
Cate Tuitt
Catherine Adam
Catherine Spedding
Cathlyn Orchard
Taylor Castanheira
Charlotte Fletcher
Charlotte O'Connor
Cheryl Fleming
Chloe Gaffney
Chris Hallas
Chris Hunt
Christian Dale
Christopher Connellan
Christopher Harper
Christopher Mitchell
Christopher O'Gorman
Christopher Toms
Ciara Bartlam
Cislyn Spence
Claire Dissington
Claire Mawer
Clara Barrington
Clare Matthews
Clive Gomes
Colette Renton
D Beal
Daniel Prowse
Danielle Garvey
Darren Burleigh
Darryl Cherrett
David Eager
David Fanson
David Jones
David L Street
David Osborne
David Rhodes
David Wells
Dawn Devine
Dawn Pritchard
Dean Holder
Deborah Morris
Denise Breen-Lawton
Dennis Thompson
Diane Roberts
Dominic Newton
Drea Becker
Duncan Craig
Edmond Claoue De Gohr
Edward Fenner
Edward Soulsby
Efstathios Divaris
Elaine Barker
Eleanor Berney-Dale
Elizabeth Wilson
Elliot Hughes
Emily Culverhouse
Emma Blacker
Emma Hough
Emma Nash
Emma Smith
Erim Mushtaq
Eve Patterson
Farrhat Arshad
Faye Rolfe
Felicity Coats
Fergus Maxwell
Fitzroy Lee
Fleur Claoue de Gohr
Frances Hertzog
Francesca Cassidy-Taylor
Francesca Edwards
Frank Whittle
Gary Harper
Gemma Adams
Gemma Roberts
Geoff Gelbart
George Lewzey
Ghazala Akram
Glenn Parsons
Gordon Hotson
Grace Loncraine
Graeme Wilson
Gregory Stewart
Gwawr Thomas
Hamza Adesanu
Hannah Burton
Hannah Webb
Harsharan Rana
Hazel Gill
Helen Korfanty
Henrietta Paget
Holly-Louise Kilbey
Howard Pallis
Hussain Hassan
Iain Haley
Ian Darbyshire
Ian Paterson
Ian Phillip
Ilana Davis
Ilse Gifford
Imran Mahmood
Isabella Forshall QC
Isabelle Claoue de Gohr
Iwona Boesche
Jack Jennett
Jacqueline Joseph
James Bloomer
James Cartwright
James Ekin
James Partridge
James Walker
Jamie Scott
Jane Slater
Jason Aris
Jason Dunn-Shaw
Jenny Boyden
Jessica Peck
Joanna Jones
Joanne O'Sullivan
Joanne Outhwaite
Jodie Mole
John Brotherton
John Kay
John Morgans
John Selby
John Simmons
John Smith
Jonathan Barker
Jonathan Black
Jonathan Mole
Julia Powell
Justin Hugheston-Roberts
Kai Luckham
Karen Jones
Karlia Lykourgou
Kassia Pletscher
Kate Bisset
Kate Davey
Kathryn Dunne
Katie Williams
Katy Thorne QC
Kealey Brown
Keir Monteith QC
Kellie Enever
Kerry Hudson
Kerry Spence
Kevin Barry
Kevin Hegarty QC
Kevin Ripley
Kevin Williams
Kim Chiswick
Kim Treloar
Kirsty Bywater
L. Hill
Laura Minardi
Laura Paisley
Laurence Lee
Lee Mott
Lennard Hodkin
Lesley Reynolds
Liam Lane
Lisa Bald
Lisa Elkington
Lisa Stewart
Lisa Wilson
Louise Berry
Lowri Marks
Lucinda Nicholls
Lucy Crossman
Lyndon Davies
Lyndsey Brown
M Gomez
M Liddiard
Maninder Chaggar
Marc Brown
Margaret Ann Coles
Marguerite Russell
Mark Hemming
Mark Higgins
Mark Lister
Mark Mcdonald
Mark Needham
Mark Sheward
Mark Turnbull
Mark Watson
Martin Chandler
Martin Patrick Joseph Lahiffe
Martin Rogers
Martin Shelbourne
Mary Westcott
Matthew Iain Bolt
Matthew Smith
Mel Stooks
Michael House
Michelle Clarke
Minka Braun
Mitchell Cohen
Morgan Carson
Mustapha Hakme
Nadine Matheson
Naoimh Hughes
Naomi Gilchrist
Natasha Hermans
Natasha Nair
Nathaniel Wade
Neeta Chokshi
Neil Baki
Neil Foley
Neil Matthews
Neil Ross
Nichola Higgins
Nicholas Berry
Nicholas Tatlow
Nicholas Whitehorn
Nick Darwin
Nick Roberts
Nick Ross
Nick Symonds
Nicola Banner
Nigel Ford
Nigel Stelling
Nina Blythe
Nina Grahame QC
Oliver Doherty
Oliver Kirk
Oliver Woolhouse
Olivia Fraser
Olumide Sobowale
Pamela Rose
Patricia Walker
Patrick Wise-Walsh
Paul Bevan
Paul Kidd
Paul Mason
Paul Mathew
Paul Stanley
Pelin Mehmet
Penny Muir
Peter Leather
Peter Mccartney
Philip Beardwell
Philip Jones
Philip Kazantzis
Philip Sinclair
Philippa Bavington
Piers Marquis
Piers Mostyn
Pippa Woodrow
Rachel Adams
Rachel Cleary
Rachel Cooper
Rachel Fletcher
Ramya Nagesh
Rebecca von Blumenthal
Rebecca Wood
Rhean Bailey
Rhona Friedman
Richard Adamec
Richard Barrett
Richard Fowler
Richard Holland
Richard Jones
Richard Mcconaghy
Richard Packham
Richard Prew
Richard Thorne
Richie Garner
Robert Cashman
Robert Gregory
Robert Levack
Robert Perkins
Robert Sherrey
Robin Ford
Ros Olleson
Rose Slowe
Rumit Shah
Sally Dale
Sally Hobson
Sam Forsyth
Sam Lamsdale
Samuel Ford
Sarah Allen
Sarah Magill
Sarah Thorne
Sarah Vine
Scott Bowen
Scott Davison
Seama Kapoor
Shannon Revel
Sharon Bailey
Shaun Murphy
Simon Eckersley
Sonya O'Brien
Sophie Murray
Sophie Sharpe
Stacey Davies
Stefan Simms
Stephen Cooper
Stephen Toghill
Steve Williams
Stuart Graham
Stuart Mcdonald
Subashini Sithamparanathan
Sue Briggs
Sue Mccullock
Sue Parkes
Sulwen Roberts
Susie Duncan
Suzanne Francis
Terence Boulter
Theresa Hendrickx
Thomas Griffiths
Tim Bass
Tim Davies
Tim Forte
Tim Hardie
Timothy Spooner
Toby Brothers
Tom Storey
Tomas Mcgarvey
Tomas Quinn
Tony Meisels
Tony Wyatt
Vanessa Saxton
Verity Fowler
Vicky Payton
Wendy Miller
William Challener Dudley
William Hughes QC
Zarah Dickinson

[1] Click for the HMCTS released a COVID-19 recovery document
[2] Click for the coordinated announcement from the Lord Chief Justice and the Vice President of Tribunals

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Signers list

Mark Hunsley
John Woodward
Amiee Parkes, Miss
Henry Dickson
Attiq Malik
Charlotte Oliver
Robert Holt
Grant Vanstone
Sebastian Cox
Adesola Ogundemuren
Ayesha Smart
Carol Mitchell
Sarah Taylor
Julie Jackson
Philip Misner
Jane Matthews
Kellie Enever
Pamela Loftus
Matthew O'Brien
Robert James
Sara Morris
Oneija Taher
Amanda Simpson
Victoria Fynamore
Teerath Gill
Charlotte Hole
Veronica Candy
Helen Easterbrook
Alex Chessum
Michael House
Szilvia Booker
Jonathan Cox
Folashade Abiodun
Pamela Rose
Anthony Bell
Rhiannon Lewis
Alexandra Moore
Sharon Bahia
Tim Clark Qc
Ben Haggerty
Marie-Armance Renaud
Sara Haque
Craig Sutcliffe
Laurence Kench
Richard Holland (Leeds)
Lyndsey Brown
Jess Grosvenor
Asad Aziz
Julie Allott
Sam Forsyth

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