Describe how the system of judicial precedent operates

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                     Describe how the system of judicial precedent operates

Along with the principal of an independent judiciary, the notion of trial by ones peers is perhaps one of the most important aspects of our legal system. This is why any suggestions of moving away from this principle of trial by jury are always controversial.

        A jury is a body of 12 persons from a cross section of society sworn to heed testimony and evidence in Her Majesty’s court; and make judgement based in the evidence presented to them: this is known as their verdict. The verdict of guilty or not guilty in precedent years has had to be reached by a unanimous verdict, however over recent years this prerequisite has been changed so that if a unanimous verdict is not reached after the given time the jury may reach a verdict by 11-1 or 10-2 majority, at the discretion of the judge. In most common law jurisdictions the jury is only responsible for the verdict; it is the judge who decides on chastisement.

        Juries are only used in circuit courts for more serious cases such as fraud, murder, rape, assault, or burglary; however juries are sometimes required for civil cases such as libel. Criminal trials are held in the crown court whereas civil trials are held in the high court or county court depending on the severity.

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        Under the Juries act (1974) as commended by The Criminal Act (2003)to be eligible for jury service one must fit the following criteria: on the day one’s jury service begins, be at least 18 years of age yet under 70; one must have dwelled for at least 5 years in any of the following since the age of 13 either: The United Kingdom, Isle of Man or The Channel Islands; and finally one must be a registered elector on either the Parliamentary or Local Government register. If you study these compulsory qualifications you can see many aspects of them go ...

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