New book on reforming Irish legal system argues that recent
Supreme Court judgments have damaged Ireland’s democracy
This provocative book, written by a former lawyer, argues that Irish citizens could be much better served by their current legal system. It describes how the court process has become so cumbersome and expensive that many people are deprived of access to justice. Having analysed the reasons for this, it goes on to show how the system could be improved, making it cheaper and faster, without impairing quality.
Michael Williams discusses alternatives to the litigation process, such as arbitration and mediation, and shows why they are not performing as well as they should. He offers a better way for appointing judges, and suggests that they should go through both training and continuous assessment. He describes how lawyers’ fees could be reduced and argues for a redefinition of the duties lawyers owe to the public. He then takes a critical look at two recent proposals to reform the legal system.
In the last section, Michael Williams analyses five recent Supreme Court decisions and argues that the judgments have abridged the rights of citizens, intruded on the proper functions of the Dáil and government, and in general have had a negative impact on the legal landscape.
The Irish legal system has an enormous influence on all of our lives, and this important new book provides some concrete suggestions, in accessible, non-technical language, on how it could be made fairer and more effective.
About the Author
Michael Williams worked as a solicitor from 1956 to 1986, when he resigned his partnership to begin work as a mediator. He worked as a mediator from 1986 to 2000, and as a trainer and consultant in mediation from 1993 to 2009. He is the author of Mediation: Why People Fight and How to Help Them to Stop (Poolbeg Press), and has written articles for The Irish Times, The Gazette of the Law Society, Mediation Quarterly and Studies.
- Additional Information
Author Williams, Michael Editor No Print Format Paperback ISBN-10 No ISBN-13 9781908308429 Illustrations None Date of Publication September 3, 2013 Number of Pages 256