CyberSmokeBlog challenges Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin to take its courtroom audio challenge!
"What's that eh? CyberSmokeBlog can't hear you the audio equipment in this federal courtroom is third world lousy!
.Good Day Readers:
Supreme Court Chief Justice and Chair of the Canadian Judicial Council Beverley McLachlin it seems is quick to tell anyone who'll listen Canada has among the world's finest jurists, well-appointed courtrooms and an open court system of which Canadians should be proud. CSB would beg to differ on a couple points.
It has been "blogging" since June of 2000 before the term and its derivatives had even been invented. During that time CSB has been in many, many courtrooms both federal and provincial. With few exceptions the audio infrastructure is that of a third world country. At the 2012 Douglas Inquiry had a chance to chat with veteran Toronto-based National Post columnist Christie Blatchford - same problem there.
A multitude of reasons:
(1) From the public gallery you face the backs' of counsel. "Pacers" are not uncommon - they walk back and fourth while addressing the court often out of range of their stationary microphones
(2) Judges who speak in muted tones (some even mumbling). To make matters worse they too are given to drifting outside the range of their stationary microphone(s). One relatively new Manitoba Queen's Bench Justice (an up and comer who's already been assigned a few high-profile cases) likes to sit side-saddle problem is "Justice Side-Saddle" doesn't re-position their microphone and in a large courtroom .....
(3) Witnesses who don't speak clearly and into the microphone. the judge, lawyers and juries may be able to hear them but the gallery?
(4) Large courtrooms with bad acoustics
(5) Inferior technology
How do you define an open court system?
Is it one in which a significant number of courtroom visitors can't hear all the proceedings all the time? Don't think so.
Taking the challengeIf the Chief Justice would like to visit Winnipeg, CyberSmokeBlog will gladly select a few large courtrooms where she can sit at the front, middle and back of the galleries. This would be followed by a written test. Unless she has superwoman hearing she'll be hard pressed to pass. No doubt Ms Blatchford in Toronto would also be prepared to administer the challenge.
How to cement your legacy?
A lot of senior citizens attend court proceeding not only because of their interest but also because of their enhanced time flexibility. A recent United Nations Study predicted within 20-years seniors will make up the largest segment of the North American population - grey power rules - Yes! If you really wish to cement your legacy never mind all those sexy, highfalutin supreme court decisions immediately mandate that in every federal courtroom all judges, lawyers and witnesses must wear those lapel microphones the media has been using for how many years now?
Clare L. Pieuk
BTW, the federal courtroom where the Douglas Inquiry preliminary hearing of four Team Douglas motions concluded yesterday has lousy, third world audio infrastructure.
CSB can only cite two members of Manitoba's judiciary for consistently running an audible courtroom - Provincial Judge Kelly Moar and Queen's Bench Justice Richard Saull.