• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Jury (Criminal & Civil Trials)

Extracts from this document...


Jury Essay (a) Describe the role of Jury in Civil and Criminal trials. Juries have been used in our legal system for over 1000 years since the Magna Carta which recognized the right to trail by "the lawful judgment of his peers." Since 1215 juries became the usual method of trying criminal cases. The independence of the jury was recognized in Bushell's case (1670) when it was established that the judge could not challenge the decision made. A more modern day example demonstrating that judges must respect the independence of the Jury is R v McKenna (1960) where they threatened the jury that if they don't give their verdict within another 10 minutes they will be locked up for the whole night. Juries are used in both Criminal and Civil cases although the use of juries is very small. Juries are used in the Crown Court for criminal trials of indictment, High Court - Queen's Bench Division, County Court and in some cases the Coroners' Courts. Less than 1% of criminal cases are decided on by a jury this is because 97% of cases are dealt by the Magistrates' Court and from the cases that go to the Crown Court, about two out of three defendants plead Guilty. Juries are used in both criminal and civil cases and the law concerning juries is consolidated in the Juries Act 1974. ...read more.


At the end of the jury charge, the case is in the hands of the jury and the jury leaves the courtroom to the jury room to deliberate. The jury chooses a foreperson, reviews the evidence and reaches a verdict in accordance with the instructions of the judge. If the jury requires further instruction or clarification of some point, it may contact the judge, who takes appropriate action. Once the jury has withdrawn to consider its verdict, members of the jury may not communicate with anyone outside of the jury room except jury ushers and then only for the purpose of contacting the judge. In a criminal trial, the verdict in a case can only be reached by the complete or unanimous agreement of the 12 jurors. Their duty is finished and the judge will discharge them when the foreperson announces the jury's verdict in open court. The most common use of juries today is in the Crown Court, where they decide a verdict of guilty or not guilty. Cases heard in the Crown Court are most often serious criminal cases including murder and rape; however, jury trials account for less than 1% of criminal trials because most cases are dealt with in the Magistrates' Court. In a typical trial, the jurors will hear the case presented by both the defence and prosecution, and then a summing-up and some direction on the law from the judge. ...read more.


The first is to decide if the claimant has sufficiently proved their case, and then if they decide that the claimant has won their case, they will judge and decide the amount of damages that should be paid by the defendant. When a jury is used in the High Court, there will be twelve people sitting, but in the County Court a jury will consist of eight people. It is stated in the County Courts Act 1984 that a person may only have the right to have a jury trial in the following types of civil cases; defamation, false imprisonment, fraud, and malicious prosecution (4). These cases are all based around both character and reputation, and a judge may still refuse a jury trial in these cases if it involves complex documents or scientific evidence, as is it considered to be unsuitable for jury trial. It was effectively the decision made during Ward Vs James (1966) that stopped the use of juries in personal injury claims, when a plaintiff attempted to claim for injuries caused in a road accident. The court has now stated that an example of where a jury might be appropriate in a personal injury claim would be if injuries had resulted from somebody deliberately misusing their authority, meaning that there could potentially be a claim for exemplary damages. In conclusion I think now a days the jury system is often described as the 'jewel in the crown' or the 'corner-stone' of the British criminal justice system. ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sources of Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This is a generally accurate description of the role of juries. It could be improved by covering material in sequence - selection followed by trial and then consideration of verdicts. Some evaluative material is included which is not strictly necessary for the question set.
Rating: ****

Marked by teacher Nick Price 06/06/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sources of Law essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Common Law and Equity

    5 star(s)

    They developed its bench of Judges and its Bar of Advocates. These were all advantages of taking a dispute to The Royal Courts rather than local courts. So from the 13th century, written records were kept, which put a definitive stamp on any judgement since no one could argue with the authority of the court.

  2. Marked by a teacher


    4 star(s)

    The judge would not be changing the law. If the House of Lords dealt with both cases with following then the old law wouldn't be changed, the Precedent would in turn find the case on the Cape of Good Hope guilty for killing and the hospital would be found guilty in the case of the twins 2007.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    the english legal system unit1 assignment4

    4 star(s)

    Solicitors have automatic right of audience to conduct cases in Tribunals, Magistrates' Court and County Court, and were in 1986 given a limited right of audience in the High Court, and can appear in appeals to the Crown Court from the Magistrates' Court or on committal for sentence.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Common Law and Equity - its history and development

    3 star(s)

    This could be unfair since the decision could lead the defendant to a consequence he or she did not deserve. It could also mean that the nothing can change the judge's decision until a higher court overrules it. Another problem with the law was the illogical distinctions, since previous decisions

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss the problem of causation in criminal law and what rules have evolved to ...

    3 star(s)

    but under the strict rules of the actus reus he has committed the act and therefore should be guilty. But as with above (A) is an innocent agent and is not guilty, while (D) is clearly guilty using Manley as precedent.

  2. Common Law and Equity Essay

    Thus, as a result of this in 1250 there was a law which was same all around the country and this is how `common law` was established. The principle of 'stare decisis' also came into place which meant 'stand by the decision' and forms the basis of precedent today.

  1. Common Law and Equity

    The common law operated through a writ system. A writ is a written command issued by the Lord Chancellor, which offers the defendant to explain why the crime was committed.

  2. Free essay

    How effective are domestic and international legal measures in dealing with human trafficking?

    Additionally, states are expected to submit regular reports regarding their level of compliance with the treaty. As of 2008, there are 143 parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, 119 parties to the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work