Court thoughts

Court reporting was usually the chief reporter’s job but when he was away or had something more important to attend to it became mine.

Court started at 10am and the paper went to the presses around mid-day. That meant for the first couple of hours I had to take notes on the current case while writing -neatly by hand  because we didn’t have laptops then – the story of the previous one for a runner to pick up and take to the office.

It wasn’t easy for someone just out of journalism school but most of the cases were pretty simple – variations on traffic, alcohol and drug offences.

After a few stints as court reporter I realised I wasn’t just seeing the same charges again and again, I was often seeing the same people, or members of their families.

I was back in court this morning (not in the dock), talking to a former prison pastor who still works with prisoners, their families and victims. He told me nothing’s changed, he keeps seeing the same people time and time again.

This is a sorry reflection on them, their failure to learn and their lack of regard for the law. But doesn’t it also tell us there needs to be a lot more effort put into preventing crime and ensuring those who err once learn not to do it again?

2 Responses to Court thoughts

  1. Pique Oil says:

    HP your last paragraph stated it very well. Their lack of regard for the law.
    where else do we see this? we see it in politicians who retrospectively change things to cover themselves. We see it in Power companies who know that the law is not going to do a thing. We see it in finance companies pushing debentures when they are in the poo.
    We see it everywhere and the people in court are the token gesture to society. They are the ones who are held up as examples of “the rule of law working”.
    The reality is they know the rules of the game as well and their part in the game.
    While we have a “justice” system that is not based on fair and equitable justice, nothing will change.


  2. Kismet says:

    A chat with our local cops a while ago led me to the same conclusions. The comment that stuck though was “There is nothing we or the courts can do to that lot (a certain criminally inclined family being discussed)that scares them, they’ve been to jail, they’ve done community service, they know what it’s like, they don’t care.”

    If they can’t or won’t learn perhaps they do need to be detained longer…


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