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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Law
  • Word count: 2426

Law Coursework

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Law Coursework By Monica A 10s Due date: 17th December 07 Part A: Describe trial by jury within the English legal system The English Legal system began in the year 1215 under the Magna Carta, which was then signed by King John. Pursuant to Article 39 of the Magna Carta: "No free man shall be arrested, or imprisoned, or deprived of his property, or outlawed, unless by legal judgement of his peers, or by the law of land" The English legal system falls into two categories, firstly, criminal law as to where the State accuses someone of a crime affecting the whole community. This is called prosecution with the case taking place in the Magistrates' Court or the Crown Court. The second law is the Civil Law where instead of this affecting the community it affects the individuals within the community. A civil law will then be called into action or a claim. This is the conclusion of the English legal system and its historical background. Jury trial is only allowed in four types of civil cases. These are as follows: fraud, defamation, malicious prosecution and False imprisonment. The Supreme Court Act 1981 (section 69), allows for juries to be used in these cases mentioned above. More serious crimes however are tried in the Crown Court. The Crown Court deals with more serious criminal offences trialled by judge and jury. ...read more.


So after the long discussion and being called back into the courtroom they still can not decide they may reach a majority verdict. When this happens, at least 10 jurors must agree, to reach a vote of 11-1 or 10-2 for either guilty or not guilty. After the jury have decided, they return to the courtroom where the clerk (keeps records or accounts) asks what their verdict is. The spokesman for the jury, known as the foreman or forewoman then states whether it is a unanimous verdict or majority one. If a majority verdict of guilty the amount of jurors agreed on this must be stated, if the verdict is guilty the judge then decides what sentence to give the defendant being accused. However, if the verdict reached is not guilty the defendant is innocent and shan't be sentenced. To conclude 'Part A', overall, I think the system is well thought-out. There are many different cases and courts for different situations whether serious or a minor. Each person in the court has a different role to someone else unless it is in the jury among other jurors that are there to decide upon if the defendant is guilty or not guilty after the trial. Part B Effectiveness of Trial by Jury It is my personal view that the present system of trial by jury is very effective because the way it is categorised is promising and well organised. ...read more.


For example, the Jubilee Line case where some woman had to change her wedding day because she was summoned for a case. Even in extreme cases, the court is very strict as it depends on you to attend. But if the reason is extreme, the payment should be risen. With jurors attending complex fraud cases, this takes up time as the arrangements could continuously change at short notice. Taking a lot of their time, even to cancel their own arrangements or if they are unwell. I think that with fines being around for those that fail to deliver their disqualifications is fair because they were aware of the consequences and should know that it is the computer that holds all information about each individual. When people fail to attend, I think if the excuse is reasonable and serious then they should be let off and they should have a limit to times when they can be let off on a serious matter like 3 times. Those that just have a bad attitude as to not attending the case should be fined. To conclude this, I don't think the jury system is a good system because not everyone shares the same opinion either sex or age. At each stage of an individual's life, we all see things differently to one and other. I also agree with the system of a judge and two lay assessors, this is more constructive and organised. It's a simple system and doesn't involve too many people in making the final decision. ...read more.

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