fergalr wrote:Not much room in the building either. It's extraordinary how little thought has gone into the accommodation of the public. There's seating room for maybe 20-30 people in each courtroom, presuming that they are all the same size. I've been up in Court 19 watching the Lillis trial and practicing my shorthand. That public seating is about a third to a quarter of what the four principal courtrooms in the Four Courts could take when the balconies above the courtroom are included.
Court 19 is small, I'll admit... but the reason for that is it is usually not meant to be housing a Media spectacle of that size. The amount of old people in there just to see the "story" is amazing. The District Courts are much bigger due to the higher volume they deal with daily. I also don't think Court 19 is any smaller than the main courts in the Four Courts. I would have, however, like to have seen a separate family area.
fergalr wrote:My second gripe is the lack of crowd control measures. There are pitifully few Courts Service employees to be seen on landings outside the courtrooms. Not only that but the queues that build up invariable take on the usual anarchic Irish scrum shape in front of the door, because no one has had the wit erect some queuing "tape", like any good bank or cinema would. Of course, this wouldn't be a problem if the courtrooms were open to the public when the building opens, like in the Four Courts. In the new building, they are opened at some point around 10:30. What happened to having your punctiliousness rewarded with a seat? (This is a minor gripe from someone who is always on time).
I agree with you on this. Also, for the amount of screening they're putting people through, you'd think they'd have at least another screening queue.
fergalr wrote:Lastly, there are only four small lifts for the entire building - unless the Law Library and other departments have seperate ones. They are packed with barristers, gardai and joe publics at all hours of the day. Again, not much foresight has gone into the number of people who might stream into the building to watch a criminal case.
The lifts are slow, but I'd imagine when there isn't a huge case on like Lillis they would be ok. Although there are 6 floors, the lifts only service 3 or 4 floors. I almost always take the stairs up unless I'm going to the 6th floor.
fergalr wrote:Oh... sorry. One more thing. There is an airport-style liquids ban in the building. Didn't I learn my lesson when I had the cheek to bring a store-bought bottle in with me during the week. Nice little monopoly for the canteen and completely over the top security concerns.
I believe this has to do with the extra security necessary since the Special Criminal Court has moved into the building also.