In 1956 Lord Devlin professed that juries are ‘the lamp that shows that freedom lives’. Evaluate the accuracy of this statement with regard to the advantages and disadvantages of trial by jury, the alternatives available and any reforms that have been introduced or recommended. You are to produce an essay as follows
Critically evaluate pros and cons the arguments for and against trial by jury Discuss any reforms that have been proposed or introduced and evaluate these reforms pros and cons
This essay will evaluate the argument for and against the jury system, discuss and evaluate proposed or recent reforms to the jury system in England and Wales. Finally, it will consider the alternatives to the current jury system. For over one thousand years the jury system has been in place in the legal system, which to some can seem bizarre to ask twelves random people with no training or experience in this field to decide someone else’s fate . At first the use of the jury was providing local knowledge and acting more like witnesses rather than the decision makers that they are seen as today. They are now independent assessors of deciding fact. One advantage of trial by jury is public confidence. A jury is considered by most as one of the fundamentals of a democratic society and the right to be tried by our peers has been supported by many renowned judges. There are also new qualifications for jury service enabling almost everyone a chance to serve on a jury and creating a cross section of society. The use of a jury is very old and still takes place in society today showing that it must be a fair way to judge the accused and that society must have confidence in the jury system. Another significant factor in the advantages of having a jury is jury equity. The vast majority of people who are selected for jury service are not legal experts and have no previous case knowledge, they do not have to follow previous cases or acts of parliament when deciding...
Bibliography: Martin J. (2011) ‘OCR Law for AS’ Second Ed
Famous cases: Bushel’s case in 1670 — Brightside. 2015. Famous cases: Bushel’s case in 1670 — Brightside. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.brightknowledge.org/knowledge-bank/law-and-politics/features-and-resources/independent-juries-bushel2019s-case-1670. [Accessed 29 January 2015].
Trial by jury faces axe in thousands of cases as courts try to cut costs | Daily Mail Online. 2015. Trial by jury faces axe in thousands of cases as courts try to cut costs | Daily Mail Online. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2087212/Trial-jury-faces-axe-thousands-cases-courts-try-cut-costs.html#ixzz3QFUAxgyj. [Accessed 29 January 2015].
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