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Describe How The System Of Trial By Jury Operates

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Introduction

Describe How The System Of Trial By Jury Operates A jury system consists of seven to twelve people, depending on the case and the court appearing in. Twelve jurors are used in Crown Court criminal cases for indictable offences. The Queens Bench Division of High Court where the cases involved are civil cases also have twelve jurors. These are cases involving libel and slander, fraud, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment. In civil cases at a County Court, eight jurors are present, although this is rare. Seven to eleven jurors are present at suspicious death cases at the Coroners Court. Specialist juries have been used within complex cases, usually fraud, as sometimes the cases can be complicated The selection process has been that since 1972, names were taken at random from the electoral role. The Juries Act, 1974 section 1, states that those who qualify for jury service are anyone aged between eighteen and seventy who have been a resident within the United Kingdom for five years since the age of thirteen. This should ensure that the selection is completely random, although within Birmingham, only one percent of jurors were of Asian or West Indian origin when almost thirteen percent make up the population. ...read more.

Middle

As members of the jury must swear to secrecy once returning from the jury room after deliberating the verdict, this ensures that no one is penalised for the final verdict. Trial by jury should, in general, eliminates any individual biased decisions, such as racism against ethnic minorities and the opposite gender. Many jurors are aware that they are there to make justice, and so do not let any racist issues over rule their judgement of the evidence. They are also aware that justice must be seen to have been done for people to keep believe in the jury system. The system of trial by jury is very traditional, and is seen by society to be a fair trial. Many people believe that they have a right to be tried by ones peers within a court of justice. There are also many disadvantages to a trial by jury, perhaps more than the number of advantages. Many people within the United Kingdom are uneducated or unintelligent, and so not competent to be on a jury, but are however on the electoral role, so it can be a lengthy process having to explain details, especially in complex cases such as fraud cases as the nature of such cases is highly complicated. ...read more.

Conclusion

It would however mean that all of the advantages of using a jury would be lost, including the randomness of selection and the varied views of society. There may also be problems in recruiting enough judges for the job. It would lessen the risk of having a few strong0-minded individuals Within Northern Ireland, no juries are used, but a system called the Diplock Court. As the community is divided into two by religion, the Protestants and the Catholics, it would be unjust to have, for example, a catholic on trial against a jury of predominantly Protestants, as this would cause great conflict and unjust verdicts not based on the evidence, but on the defendant's religion. Although there are many disadvantages to the modern system of a trial by jury, it is believed to be a fair judgement by the general public, and although could use a few improvements, it is probably the most well structured and reliable system when compared to the new ideas that are being suggested. It has been seen to work for justice for centuries, and has many strong advantages and is preferred by many over replacing the jury. 1 ...read more.

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