Court Reporters – only humble proxies but you’ll miss us when we’re gone

ALTHOUGH it may not be immediately obvious to all, our courts system is an integral part of our democracy. And in the pyramid of justice, administered, subverted and sometimes denied, the District Courts are not only the foundation but the weight-bearing rungs on which the entire system rests.

From a rural right-of-way dispute to the serving of a book of evidence in the most heinous crime, cases first see the light at this level. Contrary to popular perception, drink-driving prosecutions don’t predominate here. Blame the press. Defended ‘drinkies,’ as they’re known, make the best reading. The District Court is where most people come into contact with the administration of justice. It serves as a judicial sorting house, dealing with and disposing of the great bulk of cases and filtering the more serious up through the system to the higher courts.

Law is one of the fundamental pillars of democracy and open access to courts where justice is not only done in the name of the people — but can be seen to be done — is core. If a citizen wants to endure the often interminable tedium and decipher the codes and machinations of the Byzantine legal profession, then that is his or her right.

Read the feature in full in this week's edition of The Tuam Herald, on sale in shops and online www.tuamherald.ie

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