NEWS

Television courts distort democracy

Recently you said that distrust of public functionaries impels people to seek justice from extrajudicial agencies. What do you mean by that and how can it be dealt with? I referred to a dominant feature of the times, that an often unjustifiable distrust of legal functionaries impels people to seek justice from intermediaries who are not judges and therefore not responsible. The readiness of the media to pronounce judgment on matters in advance thus substitutes for and precludes the judicial process. However, trial by television cannot be tackled by repression, by institutional authoritarianism. The most effective response to the rough justice of «popular courts» is to reform and upgrade the real justice system. The public will only stop resorting to self-styled prosecutors when they are convinced that they can trust official judges.