Where the government refuses to pay barristers sufficient fees to conduct the most serious criminal cases (VHCCs), judges should stay the proceedings, according to a retired Court of Appeal Judge.

Sir Anthony Hooper, who retired from the bench last year, told the Criminal Law Solicitors' Association annual conference 'the scene is set' for challenges that could lead to defendants not being prosecuted due to the government's unwillingness to pay counsel adequately.

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