Juries Selection, Advantages, Disadvatages in Britain

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  • Topic: Jury, Law, Court
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  • Published : December 2, 2005
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Juries essay:
Peter Lucas

a)Explain the selection procedure for juries.

So as to provide a proper cross-section of society, possible jury members are selected at random from the electoral register. Further selection is carried out at the court using cards, so this is also random.

Certain people are excluded from jury service, including those under 18, over 70, not registered to vote, and those who have not lived in the UK for at least 5 years since the age of 13. In addition to this, some other people are disqualified from serving, including police officers, traffic wardens, members of the legal profession, people with certain mental illnesses, and anyone who has been in prison or received a suspended sentence within the last 10 years. People who have been in detention for public protection and people currently on bail are now disqualified under ‘schedule 33', an amendment to several procedures relating to jurors brought into effect by section 9(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

Certain other people are eligible for excusal, meaning they do not have to serve, but can if they wish. This includes Members of Parliament, doctors, and anyone who has served as a juror within the last 2 years, as they have done their duty. Members of the armed forces are also excused for practical reasons.

In some cases, jurors may also be excused at the discretion of the judge, including people with a holiday booked before they were aware they may have to serve, and parents with young children. Students with exams may be excused to serve at a later date.

b)Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a jury hearing a criminal trial.

There are many arguments for and against the use of juries. One key advantage is it provides public participation, creating an open criminal justice system. This is important because the system is there for the good of society, and society can play an active part in it's operation. This also serves to create public faith in the...
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