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Readers' blog: Legal system shrouded in mystery and secrecy

We have a free legal aid system and because those who represent criminals are assured of payment they are happy to put forward a case on the criminal’s behalf. 

This system is funded by suffering taxpayers. On the other hand, many aggrieved members of the public are disinclined to go to court due to high costs. They are also disadvantaged by arcane language.

Interestingly, the work of The Personal Injuries Assessment Board is undermined by solicitors who advise clients to sue in court as they may get more generous compensation, despite that some claims may be spurious.

Perjury is a crime and those suspected of lying should be prosecuted.

The only minister prepared to tackle the problem of inefficient or corrupt behaviour was forced to resign. We are left with a Legal Services Regulatory Authority which is self-regulated and temperate.

Interestingly, it seems that the Judicial Council 2017, which was supposed to proclaim a new era for the judiciary, wants to be secretive, self-regularity and moderate as well.

A decision to modernise court proceedings was signed into law by Alan Shatter on October 13, 2011.

Some of these measures may have helped to make court proceedings less intimidating but the simplification of arcane legal jargon would also be welcome.

People of like standing, in other professions, invariably use easily comprehensible standard language.

Legal dictionaries are expensive and it should not be necessary to consult such volumes to understand proceedings in a courtroom.

Most aspects of our Irish legal system have been shrouded in mystery, secrecy and self-regulation for far too long.

Margaret Humphreys


Co Cork

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