Irish Criminal Courts

28 Oct

This past week, I took a mobile seminar visit to the Irish Criminal Courts. It’s located around Pheonix Park and a large glass building. Obviously in going to a place where many criminals end up going, you have to send all your stuff through a metal detector, very similarly in going through airport security. After going through security, we entered an unused courtroom and were taught more about the Irish Criminal Courts system.

Very similarly to the United States, the Irish court system has different levels of courts. They have District, Circuit, High, and Supreme courts. Also, similarly the court has a judge (or in some cases multiple judges), a jury, and citizens who can sit in and listen. The court system is almost identical to that of the U.S.

The most significant differences are in the laws and in dress. Ireland and the U.S. do not have all the same laws (i.e. Abortion, gay rights) and therefore those court cases are handled differently. Also, one thing that significantly stuck out was the dress of many of the judges. Many but not all, male and female judges wear long black robes and powdered wigs atop their heads. When reasoning for such attire was questioned, the reason provided is because it is just tradition, and though it is not mandatory it is still widely practiced.

After learning about Irish Criminal Courts, we had the chance to very briefly hear a sentencing. The details of the sentencing were not entirely clear, but getting to see a real court in action was very interesting to see.

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