Traveller Court Support Initiative

Co-designed & Community Based Supports for Traveller Litigants in the District Court.


Cork, Ireland



The Traveller Court Support Initiative is a novel partnership between Dr Samantha Morgan-Williams, Travellers of North Cork and the Court Service, which is developing a training programme and network of Traveller ‘court-support workers’ to provide community-engaged, and culturally appropriate peer-led District court accompaniment supports for Traveller victims of discrimination.

Informed by findings from the Traveller Equality & Justice Project research, the TCSI project was codesigned and advanced in partnership with TEJP UCC Traveller organisation partners in Cork, adopting a ‘nothing about us without us’ approach empowering and building legal-education and rights-advocacy capacity.

From August to December 2023 the TCSI was supported by a UNIC Engaged Research Seed Fund Grant. During this four month pilot period five Traveller women visited the Washington St Courthouse and the School of Law for sessions. They took an 8 week introduction to the legal system course delivered by Dr Morgan-Williams, before completing visitations and sessions at the Washington St Courthouse, focused on capacity building, legal policy and research awareness and development of understanding of the daily processes of the District Court.

During this training, TCSI staff learnt about the fundamentals of the Irish legal system, including the separation of powers, sources of law, hierarchy of law, doctrine of precedent and the court system and courts processes.

In completing their training and becoming familiar with the court and its processes, TCSI workers are able to support and demystifying the courts for Traveller litigants who may experience fear or anxiety about attending court. Since their training, the five TCSI workers will be in a position to act as an important support and advocacy bridge between Traveller litigants and their legal representation

The TCSI responds to the barriers which Travellers face when trying to challenge discrimination before the Courts, through development of a co-designed training programme and establishment of a network of Traveller ‘court-support workers.’ The peer workers provide community-engaged, and culturally appropriate peer-led court accompaniment supports for Traveller litigants in the District Court. This feeds into the need for understanding of vulnerable court-user experience to adequately inform reform of domestic equality adjudication bodies, enhanced judicial training and actions ensuring access to justice for most vulnerable, while also providing vital resources needed to encourage increased discrimination litigation against those who discriminate against the Traveller Community.


UNIC Seed Fund

Type of Case

capacity building

Organizing unic universities

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