Union leaders have threatened industrial action after it emerged that around 1,300 jobs are being axed at the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA), including 1,000 from the Courts Service.
The Courts Service job cuts include security and administration posts, while the 300 other job losses include administrative and HR roles at the DCA, according to the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS).
The PCS said it could not rule out a ballot for industrial action because of the scale of the job losses.
The union warned that the job losses, part of budget cuts of up to 8%, would lead to a growing backlog of cases at courts in England and Wales.
The union warned of fewer court sittings and delays because of the losses.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS, said: “For a government that puts so much store on law and order, it is remarkable that the DCA is making such big cuts in the justice system.
“The inevitable consequences of slashing jobs will be a growing backlog of cases and the grinding to a halt of the justice system in parts of the country. With cuts on such a scale, we cannot rule out a ballot on industrial action in defence of the justice system.”