Lawyers' demo outside Palace of Westminster well attended. Feelings running high. http://t.co/reypbpUghs
ITV News cameraman Jim Dutton is at a demonstration where barristers are protesting over legal aid cuts.
Lawyers (and Silk actress Maxine Peake) in Legal Aid cuts demo. http://t.co/Pmqp3j11nl
Effigy of Chris Grayling at lawyers demo. http://t.co/OLMzol3F7w
I'm at a demo by lawyers worried about cuts in the legal aid wages. http://t.co/uVD5rkuhAJ
Courts across England and Wales are expected to close as barristers strike over cuts to legal aid.
Proceedings at major crown courts in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool, among others, are expected to be suspended while hundreds of lawyers march on Westminster in protest at the Government reforms.
This is the second protest over the Justice Secretary's decision to continue with £220 million of cuts from the legal aid budget by 2018/19.
Nigel Lithman, chairman of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA), said: "If these cuts are not addressed, then the British justice system, which is held in such high esteem around the world, will cease to exist as we know it and the British public can no longer expect true justice to be delivered.
"It is simply expected that the criminal Bar will accept cuts unparalleled in any other sector of the wider community."
Britain has "one of the most expensive legal aid systems" in the world and the Government has "no choice" but to make cuts if it is to deal with deficit left by the 2008 crash, a Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said.
Speaking ahead of a series of walk outs by barristers over cuts, the spokeswoman said:
– A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman
At around £2 billion a year, we have one of the most expensive legal aid systems in the world.
As everybody knows, this Government is dealing with an unprecedented financial challenge and the MoJ has no choice but to significantly reduce the amount of money it spends every year.
We have spoken at length over the past year with solicitors and barristers about the reforms and our final plans reflect many of the changes they asked for.
It does mean fee reductions, but it also includes a series of measures to ease their effect on lawyers.