The Role of the Jury in the English Legal System

Topics: Jury, Court, Law Pages: 3 (1074 words) Published: December 11, 2012
The Role Of The Jury In The English Legal System

A jury is a body of citizens sworn to give a true verdict according to the evidence presented in a court of law. They are generally made up of people from diverse backgrounds. They see evidence differently than the court who live the law on a daily basis. The jury puts the human factor into the equation. Juries tend to weigh the evidence to determine the questions of facts.

The jury system was imported to Britain after Norman Conquest. It is today considered to be a fundamental part of the English Legal system, however only a minority of cases are tried by a jury. The Juries Act 1974 is the main act that governs the jury trial.

The Central Juror Summoning Bureau was established in 2001 to administer the juror summoning process for the country. Computers produce an unsystematic list of possible jurors from the electoral register. Summons will be sent out to ensure that the persons confirm they will be attending and so that they do not fall into a category that will disqualify or make them ineligible to be a juror. Jurors receive notes which explain the procedure of the jury system and its functions.

Jury service is compulsory. The jury for a case is settled by random ballot in open court. The clerk (legally qualified person who will advise the jury on the points of law) will have cards that contain each panel member’s name. The cards are then shuffled and the first 12 names will be announced and called out. The 12 individuals are then sworn in and the trial will begin.

Many have argued that the Jury system is outdated and needs reform, some think the English system is by far the best and fairest however others think it should be banished altogether. What cannot be denied is that it plays a huge part in the British Legal system and has done so for many years, but there are always pros and cons to this argument.

The Jury has many advantages, such as being selected at random. This...
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