Sunday February 23, 2020

Open democracy requires free media access to court documents

The Constitution requires that justice should be administered in public, but that requirement does not seem to apply to certain court documents, writes Kieron Wood.

13th July, 2013
The Four Courts: some judges have already taken the first step to counter the 'culture of secrecy'. Photo: Maxwells

The Constitution of Ireland requires that justice be done in public. Article 34.1 says: "Justice shall be administered in courts established by law by judges appointed in the manner provided by this Constitution, and, save in such special and limited cases as may be prescribed by law, *shall be administered in public*."

You would imagine that imperative should also apply to the availability of court documents in Ireland - but it doesn't.

In the 2000 case...

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