By Claire West

The Public and Commercial Services union will hold a protest against the closure of 157 courts in England and Wales.

The event on Wednesday (15 September) is timed to coincide with the deadline for the government's consultation over the closures, which the union says will devastate access to local justice.

As part of a wider campaign to defend public services and jobs across the justice sector, PCS members will be outside the Ministry of Justice headquarters, 102 Petty France, London SW1H 9AJ, from 12 noon to 2pm.

Kevin Greenway, PCS MoJ group president, said: "Many committed and experienced staff who understand the justice system could lose their jobs if these courts close.

"Local communities will lose a vital public service and access to justice for thousands of people will be denied. We want to highlight the consequences courts closures and other cuts will have."

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "At the TUC conference this week we have shown that there is an alternative to the government's cuts in public spending that are being driven by ideology, not necessity."

PCS reps will deliver their response to the consultation at 1 pm. The protest will include a grim reaper figure who will sound the death knell for the justice system and a 'judge' getting no justice from David Cameron and Nick Clegg characters.