399. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the regulations governing public access to the public sittings of District and Circuit Courts; the circumstances in which public attendance at these courts can be curtailed; if it is a decision for the relevant judge concerned as to when curtailments on public attendance can be put into effect; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13210/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy is aware, the Courts Service Act 1998 provides that management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service which is independent in exercising its functions, which include access to court sittings by members of the public.
The administration of justice in the courts is required by the Constitution to be conducted in public, save in such special and limited cases as may be prescribed by law.
Preservation of judicial control of court business is provided for in Section 65(1) of the Courts and Court Officers Act 1926.