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29 February 2016

Society Meets Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Over Court Closure

The President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, John Guerin has said that:

“The closure of Lisburn Court house will cause great disruption, inconvenience and unnecessary stress to court users and those seeking access to justice”.

The President was speaking following a meeting with representatives from Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council to discuss the impact of the closure of Lisburn Courthouse.Attending the meeting were the Society’s President, John Guerin and Chief Executive, Alan Hunter who were joined by the Mayor, Councillor Thomas Beckett, Chief Executive, Dr. Theresa Donaldson and Councillors from Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.

Commenting the President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, John Guerin said:

“The Law Society is grateful to Mayor, Chief Executive and Councillors from Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council for meeting with the Society.

The closure of Lisburn Court house will undoubtedly cause great disruption, inconvenience and unnecessary stress to court users and those seeking access to justice.The Society believes that Instead of serving to improve the efficiency of the justice system and protect access to justice, it will undermine the effectiveness of the system and leave those that need it most without access to their local court.

The impact of the Court closure will be felt most within the local rural community where access to public transport services is limited, incomes are lower and levels of unemployment and social deprivation levels are much higher. It does not serve the interests of justice to leave communities without access to local Courthouses or to endanger the future of businesses in local town centres”.

 (l-r) Dr. Theresa Donaldson, Chief Executive of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council; Mr John Guerin, President of the Law Society; Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Thomas Beckett; Mr Alan Hunter, Chief Executive, Law Society and Alderman James Tinsley, Chairman of the Council’s Corporate Services Committee.