The courts have the function of giving the public a chance to present themselves whether to prosecute or defend themselves if any disputes against them rises. It is known to everyone that a court is a place where disputes can be settled while using the right and proper procedures. The court is also the place where a just, fair and unbiased trial can be heard so that it would not cause any disadvantage to either of the party involved in the dispute. The parties are given a chance to represent themselves or to choose to have a legal representative ,which is mostly preferred by many.
My report on court room observation focuses on observations from two courts. The first one was the Manchester Civil Justice Centre which is a new justice building in Manchester. It houses the Manchester County Court and the Manchester District Registry of the High Court, as well as Manchester City Magistrates’ Family Courts, the District Probate Registry and the Regional and Area Offices of the Court Service. The second one was the Crown Court on Minsull Street in Manchester City Centre for criminal court observations. The Courts are held in order to resolve local disputes and maintain order in the society.
This is an ongoing process which started over six hundred years ago. Before attending, each court was contacted in order to find out the times and cases that could be attended as some cases such as youth cases are not open to the public. Firstly I attended to the Manchester Civil Justice Centre. The entrance of the building was imposing. After some guidance from the people there I attended to court 20 of the fifth floor which there was a civil case about a car incident. The layout of the courtroom was simple there was no raised layers except from the judge’s.
Also there was not defendant’s box and no presence of police. The judge was a middle-aged, middle-class, white male. The public sat on the back of the court room. The case I have heard was about a car incidence, as I mentioned above. This case included a claim from the one party and a counter claim from the other. The claim was made because the defendant did not see the plaintiff car coming and try to evade. The counter claim was made by the defendant for personal injury as the defendant injured his leg and his lower back from the collision with the woman’s car.
But as I have seen in the court room the two claims examined simultaneously by the judge so as in order to save time. The legal way to examine a claim and a counter claim is to be examining separately, but in order not to waste of time for this procedure, the judge examines the two claims simultaneously. As I entered the court room I sat on the back, where the public sits, facing the judge bench at the other end of the room. In front of me on the right side there was the claimant with her solicitor and in front of them the Barrister sitting on a separately layer.
On the left side was the defendant with his Barrister in front him. At first the claimant went to the witness stand in order to be examined by both parties. The claimant said that she was parked at the end of the left side of the road and went to the shops near by. Afterwards she went back to hers car and tried to get back on the road. But when she tried to go to the right side of the road she did not notice the defendant’s car on time, so as she could not avoid them as it was too late so the two cars crushed. After her short speech she crosses examined by the two advocates with several questions.
Then the defendant went to the witness stand. He said that he was driving across the road and suddenly without any indication the claimant’s car came into his side of the road. He tried to avoid her but having only seconds to react he did not manage to avoid her. At that point the claimant’s barrister insisted that he passed illegally from the Pelican crossing few metres away from the incident. The defendant denied that. Also another important argument was that on the witness statement the defendant said that he broke his leg but afterwards the doctor said that he had also damaged his lower back.