Jury Trial in Malaysia

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Jury Trial In Malaysia

A jury trial is a trial where a judge is helped by a jury which consists of several ordinary citizens whom are usually selected randomly and generally laymen. Usually the jury box consists of 12 people that will judge regarding the facts of a case. In a jury trial, the selections of the juries are called ‘voir dire’, where the judge or parties ask jurors questions in order to determine their biases and opinions. After the jury is chosen and sworn in, the parties shall give their opening arguments, present their evidence and give closing arguments. The jury then discusses the facts of the case and considers whatever deems necessary only to announce the verdict at the end. According to Ng Boon Siong in his article of “The Comparison of Trial by Jury and Trial without Jury in The Malaysian Legal System”, the jury trial was first introduced in Penang and Malacca and later extended by the first Prime Minister throughout the rest of Malaya states. After the last case of Mona Fandey then only it was realized that jury trials are not suitable to be applied in Malaysia. Several of those reason is that firstly, the jury trial are considered archaic and time consuming. Not to mention the difficulties of such common people (whom most of them does not have any legal knowledge) to understand fully the facts of the case which adds up the time taken for an acceptable and at least reasonable decision to be made. Besides that, most of the jurors are being doubtful most of the time during the trial. They decide solely based upon personal opinion rather than considering wholly on the evidences founded. For example in the case of Mona Fandey, biased opinions was obvious at that time because all of the jurors voted the defendant as guilty without considering some evidence which are in favour of the defendant side. Lastly, jurors are incapable and mostly afraid to bear the heavy burden of such big decision where a man’s life is at stake. However, it has been 15

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