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Juries And Verdicts Notes

BPTC Law Notes > BPTC Criminal Litigation Notes

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A more recent version of these Juries And Verdicts notes – written by City Law School students – is available here.

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Juries & Verdicts How many jurors sit on a Crown Court jury, and what is the minimum number a jury can continue a trial with?
On what grounds may a juror be discharged?
On what grounds may the whole jury be discharged?

What should the judge's summing up to the jury include?

The jury begins with 12 jurors, up to 3 can be discharged, tif more trial must be abandoned - a fresh trial will take place later (i.e. the total falls below 9). Illness or necessity 1) It hears inadmissible and prejudicial evidence. Discharge is not automatic and will be decided by the judge. The test is whether there is a real possibility of injustice because the evidence has biased the jury; 2) It cannot reach a verdict; 3) An individual juror has been discharged and there is a risk that he has contaminated the rest of the jury (i.e has communicated knowledge to jurors, like previous convictions)

1. Function of the judge and jury: Law is a matter for the judge and facts are a matter for jury. Judge may express views on facts, but jury is free to disregard those views.

2. Burden and standard of proof

3. Law and evidence: Judge must explain the law and how it relates to the case in a manner that is even handed to both parties.

4. Main features of evidence and how it relates into legal framework

5. Character / Previous convictions: Jury may take into account bad character, but bad character does not equate to proof of guilt. It is for jury to decide if evidence of bad character goes to propensity, credibility.

6. Reaching a verdict: Only a unanimous verdict is acceptable; there should be no deliberation unless all members of jury are present.

7. Directions as required:
- Turnbull direction if identification evidence is in issue
- If expert evidence, direction that they are not bound by opinion of the expert
- If lies told by D, Lucas direction
- If D failed to answer police questions, or failed to testify in court, direct as to adverse inference + burden of proof on P and any inference cannot prove guilt on its own
- If alibi evidence, direction that even if alibi false does not mean D is G + burden of proof remains on P + alibis are sometimes invented to bolster a genuine defence.
- If D failed to comply with requirements of CPIA (eg inconsistent defence with defence statement) adverse inference may be drawn.
- Multiple counts or multiple Ds: each count and each D must be considered separately + evidence must be disregarded if it is not admissible against a particular D
+ a decision should be reached based on all evidence +
a D may run a cut -throat defence through self - interest

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