Courting the media: Barristers protest at legal aid cuts

Barristers outside Chelmsford Crown Court Credit: ITV News

Criminal Barristers normally speak in court, today they stood outside Chelmsford Crown Court.

Their argument: their pay is already too low, government cuts to legal aid due in April will drive people away from the industry and reduce the quality of our criminal justice system.

The action was taken over proposed changes to legal aid.

Legal aid costs taxpayers about £2bn every year and the Government has proposed £220m cuts. Lawyers say incomes could fall by 30%.

But that number is disputed by Barristers.They arguing that it's only a small handful who earn over £100,000 a year and many juniors take home as little at £10,000 a year.

The coalition government has already reduced legal aid funding in other types of case.

Although it doesn't give advice for criminal matters, the citizens advice bureau in Cambridge is still struggling to cope with a surge in demand after the last round of cuts.