Justice must be seen to be done – and heard
I wish to draw attention to the dreadful acoustics in Magistrates’ Court No 3.
Recently, I was a plaintiff and my attorney made a presentation. Beforehand, I had asked her if I could make a presentation to the magistrate. She was in the well of the court, about 12 feet from me with her back to me as she addressed the magistrate. I heard none of her presentation but assume she presented my case accurately.
The magistrate then indicated I could speak. I asked him if I could enter the well of the court and approach the bench, as I could not hear clearly what he was saying. He refused to let me enter the well of the court.
I was not the only person who could not hear the proceedings clearly. The law must be done but “seen to be done”. This is impossible with the present acoustics. Possibly, the acoustics in the adjoining courtrooms are as bad as No 3.
Also, there are no chairs or benches in the waiting area outside the courts. Because I was early before the court doors opened, I had to stand and wait.