If I ran this country ……..III

no one in a Greek courtroom would be allowed to make a noise while people are giving testimony.

I was in court for work this week. Not oddly, I had to keep notes. This was near impossible with all the activity — none of it necessary.

It was like being in some kind of Turkish bath. People milling around, slapping one another on the back, lounging around in corners, gum being chewed and snapped loudly, private conversations unrelated to the proceedings going on between people in the court.

I don’t understand. This was a murder trial. The family of the victim have travelled from the U.S. to attend this trial.  Their child had been brutally killed. The least bit of courtesy that could be extended would be … attention? Respectful silence?

Instead, a T-shirted policeman would cross the room to chat with newly-arrived female lawyer friend, who just stood in front of those attending the proceedings. People would just wander in, like one unshaven man with a cap who got annoyed when a policeman told him to take off the cap in the courtroom. A lawyer involved in the trial left his desk at the bench, wandered over to the where we were sitting, spoke casually with his interns about another matter, used his cellphone to call a friend, then wandered back to his post.

And of course, there were the usual camp followers: those strange people who do little errands like bring bottles of water. There seemed to be a handful of them in court today.

It was hard enough to hear what was being said because witnesses speak to the judge/jurors, not to the people present. Add to that the translation that was running concurrently with the testimony (no translation booths in Greek courts!). The glass entrance door to the courtroom did little to muffle the noise from the loud conversations outside.

This is about basics. It’s not really good enough to have people lounging around and schlepping in and out of the courtroom. Shows complete disrespect for everyone. My solution: lock the doors after the session begins.  (Of course, having written this, for all I know I just showed disrespect for the court!)

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