Who is and who isn’t eligible for jury service within the English legal system. And how is a jury selected. How effective is trial by jury? Consider any alternatives and suggest improvements.
For many years "the jury" have decided cases in the Crown Court. When a defendant pleads not guilty a jury is sworn in to hear the case and come to a verdict. Now people are considering whether trial by jury is a fair and just way of reaching the verdict. In the Crown Court, when a defendant pleads not guilty, a jury is sworn in to decide whether the defendant is guilty or not. Juries are used in less than one per cent of all criminal trials. This essay will examine who is and isn’t eligible for jury service within the English legal system and other things related to it.
A jury is a group of twelve men and woman legally chosen to hear a case and decide facts from the evidence presented in the case. Juries are used in both certain civil and criminal courts. Certain qualifications are needed to be eligible for jury service; the person must be aged between eighteen and seventy years. They must be registered to vote on the electoral register and also must have been a resident in the United Kingdom for at least five years since reaching the age of thirteen.
Certain people can also be disqualified from jury service due to The Juries Act 1974 and The Juries Disqualification's Act 1984. A person is not qualified if they have ever been sentenced, if, in the last 10 years you have served any part of a sentence of imprisonment, youth custody or detention, or if you have, in the last 5 years been placed on probation. You are also disqualified if you are on bail.
There are certain people who are ineligible from jury service, these people include people suffering from a mental illness or if a person is a resident in a hospital or another similar institution because of a mental disorder. People involved in the law, such as the Judiciary i.e. a Judge. People concerned with Administration of Justice, such as Barristers. Solicitors and authorised advocates are also ineligible. There many persons who have the right to refuse jury service, they are “excusable as of right”. These people include members of parliament, those who serve in the armed forces, doctors, nurses and pharmacists, persons aged sixty-five to seventy years of age and people who have done jury service in the last two years or religious people.