A statement from Nick Vineall KC Chair of the Bar Council on the cab rank rule and legal representation:
"The cab rank rule prevents barristers from refusing work because they disagree with the actions or views of those seeking their services. This does indeed have the result that people to whom a particular lobby object can still get the legal representation of their choice. It also guarantees that people who are accused of offences they did not commit can get legal representation by an advocate of their choice, no matter how appalling the offence with which they are charged.
"The cab rank rule promotes access to justice and promotes the rule of law. It is disappointing that some lawyers apparently wish to remove these rights from people of whom they disapprove.
"I would be profoundly unhappy if a climate change activist accused of a public order offence were ever to be precluded from obtaining the services of the barrister of their choice because their chosen barrister happened to disapprove of the particular way in which they had been protesting."