A Practical Approach to Court Reporting

The aim of this workshop is to give news editors, producers, presenters, reporters and any journalist involved in court reporting or taking in copy/reports from the courts a clear understanding of the procedures involved in court reporting and insights into a 'day in the life' of a court reporter.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course learners will :

  • Understand the structure of the courts system in Ireland
  • Understand the common law principles of the law of contempt of court and sub judice rule
  • Understand the statutory restrictions that apply to reporting on particular types of cases(e.g. sexual offences, family law cases, cases involving children) with which bona fide members of the media are expected to be familiar
  • Understand the structure and component elements of a standard criminal case, from arrest to trial, sentence to appeal
  • Understand leading case law on court reporting restrictions
  • Gain an insight into a ‘Day in the Life’ of a Court Reporter
  • Understand how to find their way around the courts
  • Know how to navigate the legal diary
  • Be presented with ‘day to day’ tips for those covering courts or taking court reports
  • Gain an understanding of how to identify stories, which trials to cover and how to get the information you need to generate you report/content

Course Content

Section 1

  • Outline of the Courts Structure
  • District Court
  • Circuit Court
  • High Court/Central Criminal Court
  • Court of Criminal Appeal
  • Special Criminal Court
  • Supreme Court

Section 2

  • Sources of Court Reporting Law
  • Common Law
  • Statute Law
  • Data Protection Act

Section 3

  • Constitutional Principles
  • Public Administration of Justice
  • Contempt of Court
  • Case Law
  • Guidelines for Court reporters

Section 4

  • A day in the life of a Court Reporter
  • Finding your way around the Courts
  • Navigating the Legal Diary
  • Practicalities of being a Court Reporter
  • Identifying stories and trials to cover
  • Getting the information you need

Section 5

  • All your questions answered

Participant Profile

News editors, producers, presenters, reporters and any journalist involved in court reporting or taking in copy/reports from the courts


Frank Greaney, Communicorp Group Courts Correspondent

Frank Greaney is the Communicorp Group’s Courts Correspondent. His reports feature daily across Newstalk and Today FM’s news bulletins as well as the wider network service. He is also a regular contributor to The Pat Kenny Show, The Last Word, The Hard Shoulder and various other current affairs shows on local radio stations across the country. He holds a Bachelor of Corporate Law and is also a graduate of NUI Galway’s MA in Journalism. Frank covers a wide range of cases in both the criminal and civil courts and has reported extensively on some of the country’s most high-profile trials including the Graham Dwyer murder trial, the Anglo trials, and most recently the Belfast rape trial for which he won a Justice Media Award from The Law Society of Ireland.

Sarah Kiernan, Partner, MediaLawyer

Sarah is the Managing Partner in MediaLawyer, Solicitors.  She is an Irish qualified solicitor who started her career as a media lawyer in RTE where she worked for 6 years.  Sarah then moved to Brussels to work in European regulation and policy making.  She has worked on many flagship current affairs and factual programmes produced in the Irish market. She has been involved in many high-profile litigation actions for defamation, breach of privacy and copyright infringement.  She represented RTE at the Barr Tribunal. She has worked with many online publishers in Ireland, advised clients on the new Data Protection regime introduced in May 2018 , has extensive experience of responding to complaints made under the various BAI programming codes.  Sarah has lectured in DCU, NUIG and since 2013 she has been an integral member of the MediaLawyer training team, creating and providing well received training seminars and workshops for radio stations all over the country for Learning Waves Skillnet