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

Jury System Part 2

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How effective is the system of trial by jury? Are there any improvements that could be made or better alternatives that exist? The jury system has been in use for hundreds of years and was confirmed under Magna Carta 1215; however the system of trial by jury can be traced back to the reign of Henry II (1154-1189). The system by which we are familiar with today, i.e. juries giving verdicts on the basis of what is related to them by witnesses at the court hearing was coming into prominence in trials of serious offences as early as the fifteenth century. The jury is found in the Crown Court and sit for indictable offences. Juries consist of 12 people of either sex, swearing on the Bible or equivalent religious text, swear to: "Well and truly try the case and give a true verdict according to the evidence". The law on juries is governed by the Juries Act 1974, as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. Much comment has been made about the jury system and its effectiveness and value to society. In this essay I will attempt to explore the advantages and disadvantages, before finishing this essay with an evaluative passage to sum up my findings. ...read more.

Middle

A further example was R v Kronlid and Others (1996)- In this case Kronlid and others caused �1.5 million worth of damage to a fighter aircraft that was to be sold to the Indonesian Government. Kronlid successfully argued that the plane would be used to tyrannize the people of East Timor and was acquitted by the jury. All of the above are reasons as to why the jury system is advantageous. I will now explore disadvantages of the system. Firstly, as the selection for jury service (governed by section 1 of the Juries Act 1974 as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1988) is totally down to chance, there is the realistic possibility that incompetent people, who are unable to deal with the court atmosphere, may be selected for jury service. This occurred in R v Chapman (1974) when a deaf juror sat through the trial without hearing a word of the trial. The Court of Appeal also decided that the juror had not prejudiced the trial and therefore the decision stood. After this case, Lord Denning caused for a suitability test to be introduced to decide on whether the juror is adequate to perform, however this could result in huge financial cost. Secondly retrials are very expensive. The jury do not have to agree, and should they disagree, a retrial would have to be arranged. ...read more.

Conclusion

Here are four suggested alternatives and their accompanying disadvantages: * Single Judge- this alternative means that there would be only one viewpoint towards the outcome; also, a judge sees the trial only in a legal context. * Panel of Judges- These would be hugely expensive, way too much to be able to be realistically paid. Also, the judges would act purely with a professional view. * Judge and lay jurors- this would be problematic, as the judge would dominate the discussion. * 'Professional' Jurors- this would also be problematic, as the jury would become casehardened and would no longer be laymen. These suggestions are all possible alternatives and could be implemented. However, it has to be said that if an alternative to the jury system were to be introduced, it would have been already. The jury system has served society well over the past 800 years. The public have confidence in the system and accept that it is the best way to decide indictable only offences. Any alternative that could be introduced would be done under mass political pressure and would be widely opposed. Despite some flaws in the system, there is no alternative that is as advantageous with fewer disadvantages. Unless a revolutionary new idea is fathomed at some point in the future, the jury system will continue to so serve the public well. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Written By: George Mundell - Jones 11UMA ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 GCSE Law essays

  1. LAW OF TORTS II

    An insurance crisis believed to be brought about by the rising number of negligence claims meant that instability was experienced in the medical and professional industries alike. Physicians experienced concern when obtaining professional liability insurance as costs and availability fluctuated.19 As US tort law is controlled independently by the states, wide-spread reform was needed.

  2. Describe the system of trial by jury within the English legal system.

    There are three different groups of people who can be excused; people who are ineligible, people who are disqualified, and people who are excused at the judge's discretion. Until 2003 solicitors, people in the police force, and anyone who had an extended legal knowledge could not serve.

  1. The Law Relating to Negotiable Instruments

    to be credited to any account other than the payee and the endorsement in favor of the last payee is proved forged. The protection afforded by Section 131 to the collecting banker is very valuable in view of the fact that when one person deals with the goods of another

  2. Describe the system of trial by jury within the English legal system

    It is also essential that the judge does not help decide the verdict. He can not pressurise or threaten the jury, as it may not be fair. Each have their own roles and these must be stuck to. To qualify for jury service, a person must be aged between 18 and 70.

  1. Law : Juries & Judges

    Well, if you cannot make a hearing then you are expected to inform the court, with notice. You may only be excused: * If you have either attended a jury in the last 2 years. * If you are over the age of 65.

  2. Law in association with the criminalisation of certain drugs.

    Our predecessors failed to adequately assess the impact of such laws, and whether it was necessary to prohibit illicit substances although there was no definite 'drug problem.' Despite this, current politicians consider the criminalisation of illicit substances crucial and emphasises the necessity of being 'tough on drugs.'

  1. Justices of the Peace - Magistrates Courts

    Moorlands magistrates' court, where one in six either-way defendants end up with a prison sentence; at the other is Maidenhead, where the chance is just one in sixty-six. For Crown Courts, on the other hand, the difference in the proportion of custodial sentences between the strictest court and the most

  2. What is an indictable offence and how is it brought to trial?

    has already been tried for this offence; if this is established he cannot be tried again. > He may enter a demurrer, if he admits the facts and intention but denies that they constitute in law the offence charged. > He may move to quash a faulty indictment, though where

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