Effectiveness of a Jury Essay

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Evaluate the effectiveness of the jury system in the criminal trial

Juries exists in the criminal trial to listen to the case presented to them and, as a third, non-bias party, decide beyond reasonable doubt if the accused is guilty. For the use of a trial by juror to be effective, no bias should exists in the jurors judgments, the jurors should understand clearly their role and key legal terms, and the jury system should represent the communities standards and views whilst upholding the rights of the accused and society and remain cost and time effective.

The jury system has been used in the criminal trial since the Constitution stated “the trial on indictment of any offence against any law of the Commonwealth shall be by jury.” The jury system has since been used in Australian courts with the aim of effectively achieving justice in the criminal trial by allowing peers to judge the accused. The jury system is effective in upholding the rights of the defendant and society. Recent reforms have also led to a more time and cost-effective way of using a jury as the third party in the adversary system. The Jury Act 1977(NSW) states “in any criminal proceedings in the Supreme Court or the District Court that are to be tried by jury, the jury is to consist of 12 persons.” The jury system that was formalised by the act has created an effective means of achieving justice in the criminal trial process. 12 persons randomly selected from society represent the communities’ standards and values as well as bringing a diversity of life experience to the judgment. By using people from society, the jury system effectively upholds society’s right to keep a check on the on-goings of court and prevents the legal system becoming distinct from society – this in turn, increases the public confidence with the criminal trial process. Also, the responsibility of the judgment of guilty or not guilty is made by twelve of the accused peers instead of one, reducing the impact of...
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