Courts should operate within regular working hours, the principal organisation representing barristers in England and Wales has claimed.
In a newly published ‘protocol’, the Bar Council says that growing number of courts have begun listing cases early or late in the working day “without reference to the majority of court users, particularly in the criminal and family courts.”
This has a major impact on the working lives of barristers, it claims, affecting their ability to balance their professional and personal lives, including “any caring and personal commitments”. This pressure disproportionately affects female barristers who are more likely than their male counterparts to have childcare responsibilities – and as a result some leave the profession altogether.
More regular courtroom hours would also improve the overall efficiency of the justice system the protocol suggests.
The full document is available to read here.
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