The trial of former Prime Minister Andrej Babis has become a media show that, with its impressive spectacle, attracts even viewers who do not normally watch political events. It is a dramatic story of the struggle of two powers, judicial and political.




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Court in the Stork nest case. Andre Babis | Photo: Rene Volvik | Source: iROZHLAS.cz

The battle of huge money, the owners of which believe that everything can be arranged and bought, and fraud is only the improvement of financial flows, but also the battle of ordinary human justice, comparing the written rules of paper with reality.

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How many of these stories have people seen in TV series, and how many of these screens have actually gone through. But this story is really true, it happened in the Czech Republic at the beginning of the twenty-first century, and even if we watched it mostly only on TV, it could be a turning point for social events for many years to come.

The trial of Babis for support fraud in the apí hnízdo case, regardless of the verdict, is not only important evidence that justice does not escape anyone in principle, but it is also a school of legal awareness that Czech society needs like salt.

Today’s TV, movie, and series audience are very adept and experienced with the courtroom drama genre. Legal drama, as the genre is universally called, belongs to the most popular areas of modern entertainment. It combines stress release and healing with important social themes plus legal education at stake.

Everyone who watches, in addition to exposing the criminal story that follows its ups and downs, also breaks the rules of the judicial system. He is fully aware of what is important and what is not important to the judge’s decision making, what legal loopholes are used, and what the role of a witness’s good name or social and professional play in cross-examination.

Declaration of the rule of law

The drama of the court revives the justice machine, which is transformed from a systematic mechanism into a living organism, which has its own rules, but in each case he has to renew the law, interpret it and make a living decision – a new ruling.

But many domestic viewers know all this mainly from the American background, and not from the Czech one. Ironically, thanks to modern entertainment, we know the US court system and its principles almost better than the Czech judicial environment. Of course, even in Czech conditions, court dramas were created, such as the ČT Život a doba soudce AK series, but they are marginal compared to the Anglo-Saxon production.


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Watching the trial of Andrej Babis, accused of subsidy fraud and possibly harming the financial stability of EU budgets, is thus an exceptional opportunity to raise the legal awareness of the Czech community. Dozens of legal commentators on today’s networks and traditional media explain the vagaries of clauses, procedural procedures, and various legal strategies.

Never since the revolution has there been such an extensive opportunity to enter into the bowels of the system created by society to protect itself and its citizens from harm and destruction by people who do not respect the social rules of the game.

They couldn’t even broadcast a better advertisement for the rule of law and its work in the media. Understanding how the justice system behaves and what advantages and disadvantages it has in proving guilt or innocence is very important for the main thing at stake: in order to visualize the administration of human justice and its limits.

The specific guilty verdict that will eventually come in the Andrej Babis case can be seen as a byproduct of the more important practical realization that the legal system in the Czech Republic works as it should, and that the size of the bank account plays no role in it. The courtroom drama continues as a public legal service, don’t miss the next episode!

The author is a commentator in Euro . magazine

Peter Fisher

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