9 King's Bench Walk
Founded on Belief, Passion & Integrity.
9 KBW is a Chambers founded on belief in the rule of law, the right of all individuals to be expertly represented and the administration of justice. Those solid foundations were laid down over 40 years ago and we continue to base our service firmly upon those simple, but vital, principles
It is with those founding principles in mind that we must, once again, stand firm with our colleagues across the profession in protest at the clear way that the Ministry of Justice is eroding access to justice for all, by its neglect and indifference to the mounting problems in the Criminal Justice System.
Our clients deserve better than a system that is completely underfunded. They deserve better than a system that sees cases being delayed or eventually collapsing because of late or non disclosure, leaving those facing charges in impossible situations; their lives affected unimaginably by those delays or mistakes. Our courts are old and unfit for the purposes of modern day proceedings, their staff under resourced and overworked, training often insufficient and morale throughout is decreasing rapidly. Trial delays harm lives. Insufficient resources, training, staff and funding all harm lives and it has to change.
Now it is proposed that members of the Criminal Bar should be subject to further significant and unacceptable cuts to fees which, already, have not been increased in a number of years and which will mean that many senior members of the Bar, tasked with representing those facing the gravest of charges, will not be able to continue to accept work of that level. The dedication and sacrifice that such members have devoted to their work should result in proper reward on merit. Yet, the MOJ believes that such dedication should be rewarded by the imposition of such appalling cuts to fees that it will make it impossible for the senior bar to continue to represent those facing the severest of penalties. It is unacceptable and it is wrong.
If things do not change and if the MOJ remains blind to the advice given and proposals made by those who know the system the best, because they work in it every single day, then the end result will be a profession that can no longer attract those who want to stand for the rights of those who find themselves facing criminal charges. Our clients will no longer have the right to be expertly represented because the expertise will have gone and may mean no access to representation at all and therefore no justice for anyone.
Because we believe in that absolute right to justice for all and until the MOJ understands that it is destroying that right by its flagrant disregard for all that is now wrong with the Criminal Justice System, 9 KBW will continue to refuse instructions on all cases subject to a representation order and therefore the new fee structure, dated on or after 1st April 2018 and to operate a “no returns” policy on all cases from the 25th May 2018.
We take this action because we believe that the Criminal Justice System will no longer mean Justice for All or even Justice for Many if we do not. It is unacceptable. It is wrong and the destruction of our once proud and enviable system has to stop.