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'Juries are anti-democratic, irrational and haphazard.' To what extent do you think that this is an accurate description of the selection and role of the jury?

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'Juries are anti-democratic, irrational and haphazard.' To what extent do you think that this is an accurate description of the selection and role of the jury? A jury is a group of men and women legally chosen to hear a case and to decide the facts from the evidence presented. Juries are used in civil and criminal cases. Trial by jury is not common in civil cases is not common and is usually restricted to actions involving defamation, malicious prosecution, fraud and false imprisonment. Any part to one of these actions has the right to trial by the jury. A jury will be ordered for other cases when the court considers it necessary, which it rarely does. A county court jury consists of eight jurors and a High Court jury has 12.In criminal cases juries, juries of 12 persons are used in all trials in the Crown Court. The jury is selected at random from the electoral register to provide a cross-section of the population. ...read more.


The statement that ' Juries are anti-democratic, irrational and haphazard' is to an extent an accurate description of the selection and role of the jury by viewing the details mentioned above and also discussing its disadvantages. The first being that jurors may not be competent to understand the evidence presented and the issues involved cases involving fraud, which may last for many months, may involve the use of technical terms beyond the grasp of many jurors. In liberal cases for example an average juror may not be able to appreciate the subtle meanings of the offending words- are they statements of facts or merely comments? In addition to reaching a decision a liberal jury has to decide the amount of damages which a successful plaintiff should receive, although they have no training in this aspect and the judge is only allowed to give advice or guidance in general term. The courts, however do have power to substitute the sum awarded, if it appears to the court that the jury's award is excessive or inadequate. ...read more.


Following the Rosemary West murder trial in 1995, jury members were offered counseling. It is possible for a black person to be tried by a wholly white jury. There has been a move to abate this possible disadvantage by ensuring that a certain number of non-white jurors are selected for a panel, although selection for a particular case is still by ballot from total jurors on the panel. Moving on further on the other hand, to an extent it can be said that the statement is inaccurate as the general public are very keen to maintain trial by jury. Ordinary people have a part o play in the system.Professionals have to make sure that jurors who are not legally qualified understand the proceedings. The system is kept accessible to all. The use of ordinary people brings the system down to earth. A group decision by eight or twelve people possibly gives fairer results. Juries lastly have a reasonable track record for making the right decision. Considering al of the above factors I still believe that to an extent Juries are anti-democratic, irrational and haphazard in it is selection and role. ...read more.

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