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Criminal Courts to 'further stagger' start times for cases after overcrowding outside courtroom

The move comes after legal professionals expressed concern about overcrowding at the Criminal Courts of Justice yesterday.
Mar 24th 2020, 2:35 PM 9,695 8

THE COURTS SERVICE will further stagger start times for cases at Dublin Central Criminal Court from today and inform people when they are due to attend court in an effort to improve social distancing measures.

The move comes after legal professionals expressed concern about overcrowding at the Criminal Courts of Justice yesterday. 

Despite courts in Ireland now only dealing with urgent legal cases, a “glitch” at the CCJ yesterday led to dozens of people congregating outside courtrooms, the Courts Service said in a statement. 

An unexpected emergency application at one of the courts led to people having to wait outside one courtroom at the CCJ. 

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Fianna Fail Justice spokespeson Jim O’Callaghan TD said the courts service “needs to manage lists in such a way that courts aren’t overcrowded” and said that “only people directly involved” in court cases should be permitted to attend. 

In a statement, the Courts Service said that as a result of yesterday’s overcrowding, it had taken a number of measures to ensure it would not reoccur. 

The statement said they would be in touch with the relevant organisations regarding how to reduce the numbers of legal representatives that need to be present in court.

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“We are appreciative of everyone’s cooperation as we work to maintain our high successes in social distancing to date, and in improving in areas we have not achieved the optimum results yet,” the Courts Service said. 

“The corridors in the CCJ are wide and spacious and with some direct management, along with the measures taken to date, will improve the situation from this morning,” it added. 

From today the Courts Service will further stagger lists, let people know in advance when they are expected to be there, and will have staff on duty to organise those waiting into safe and social spacing patterns, it said. 

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