Trial by jury is a legal proceeding in which the guilt or innocence of the defendant is determined by a jury. It is opposed to bench trial that all final judgments are made by a judge. In Hong Kong, as it is under the common law system, jury trials are used in serious criminal cases and also some civil cases, like murder, manslaughter, rape, civil fraud and defamation cases etc. In addition, the jury is formed by a group of eligible citizens which is selected by local population. The criteria for service as a jurors are 1) she/he is a resident of Hong Kong, 2) is between 21-65 years old, 3) is of good character and sound mind and 4) has a sufficient knowledge of both the language of English and Chinese. All these qualifications listed are ensure the juries have their ability to make the most appropriate verdict maturely and reasonably. To further assure the fairness, a jury usually comprises seven people and the verdict has to be reached by a majority of not less than five jurors (Jury Ordinance s.24). Apart from Hong Kong, jury trail is also used in many countries, like United Kingdom, United States, Russia, Canada and France etc. It means the maintenance of jury trial has its saving grace even in Hong Kong. However, there are still some criticisms to challenge the reliability and usefulness of the jury trial system. Therefore, I will try to evaluate the strengths and weakness of maintenance of jury trial in Hong Kong in the following passage.
In the first part, I will analyze the advantages of using jury trial in Hong Kong.
To begin with, trial by jury can erase the individual prejudices as the members of jury are from different backgrounds. There are a provisional list of jurors is held by The Registrar of the High Court, which consists of those people qualified in Hong Kong.*(1.28) Then, the court will further select from the list by ballot or by any other random selection methods to form the jury when the count need to summon a jury.*(1.29). Based on...
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