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Juries Notes

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This is an extract of our Juries document, which we sell as part of our Criminal Procedure and Evidence Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.

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JURIES?Spencer hates juries. o Auld thought we should allow Ds who wished to do so to waive jury trial in preference for judge only trial. Actually only used for between 1 and 2% of criminal cases these days. Majority of law in Juries Act 1974

Problems with juries

1. Deliberations occur with no oversight

2. Incompetence of jury members a. (e.g. Vicky Pryce trial, in which the jury asked if they could come to a verdict on evidence not presented in court and w/ no evidence to support it from pros or defence) b. Also - a lot of technical and scientific evidence that jury isn't going to understand

3. Irresponsible jury members a. Googling names of accused - every now and then one is found in contempt b. A-G v Davey; A-G v Beard: 2 jurors prosecuted by AG for contempt, one had posted facebook status about convicting and the other had been on the internet. c. Young - Ouija board Cheryl Thomas study = juries usually come out with the right result. See her study. Simon Jenkins criticism in the guardian - points to the fact that juries are thought to get it right most of the time, but also that magistrates and judges can do the same. Jury Rationale

1. Magna Carta guarantees 'right to be tried by your peers' - from 1215. Didn't mean juries originally, it meant 'duty to be submitted to trial by your peers'.

2. As a safeguard against miscarriages of justice a. But potential for irrational decisions too

3. Keeps law in line w/ common sense and current ethical standards

4. Protection against the state: a. Some say being able to say that "you cannot convict me until you convince 10-12 others beyond reasonable doubt that I did it" is ultimate protection from authoritarian state. b. Jury equity - Clive Monty case in which P was clearly guilty under Official Secrets Act but the jury acquitted because it was so unfair. But this might lead to blanket rules and too heavy reliance on juries. c. Lord Devlin: "The jury is the lap that shows freedom lives"

5. Democratic...but surely our laws are democratic in themselves? And how does it ensure there's true democracy by picking 12 at random?
a. Blackstone: "suffrage" of 12 men should determine guilty but also references to them needing to be competent and sensible etc.

6. Publicly acceptable

7. Judges don't have sole responsibility.

Juries = empanelled in all trials on indictment where D has plead guilty.
? When does law dispose of juries?
o All summary or either way offences in the magistrates court o If its either-way offence, D has right to insist on jury but most opt to be dealt w/ by magistrates. o Guilty pleas in Crown Court (70%) o Where there is NG plea on indictable offence, exceptions to jury:
? DVCVA 2003 s17 mechanisms
? CJA 2003 s.44 - provision allowing non-jury trial in Crown Court in court case w/ serious suspicion of jury nobbling (other exception for serious fraud cases has now been repealed). Eligibility - rewritten by the CJA 2003
- Everyone 18-70 registered as parliamentary/local gov elector can be jury member so long as been resident in UK for any period of at least 5 years since attaining age of 13 (JA s1)
- Exempt under Sched1: mentally disordered, those on bail, those on life sentences, those detained for public protection, those w/ extended sentence &
those sentenced to imprisonment for 5+ years.
- Exempt for 10 years: anyone who has served prison sentence, anyone subject to community order/rehab order/community punishment order/drug treatment order
- NOT exempt: judges, police, barristers, solicitors. Empanelling a jury
? Summoned at random from names and addresses on electoral roll. Creates panel of jurors. s.2-5 JA. If eligible and summoned, there is a duty to attend.
? Jury of 12 selected from panel. The jury in waiting are brought in after arraignment or sit during it if D doesn't plead guilty to anything. 12 of them called at random by the usher - s11.
? Once empaneled, clerk informs D of right to challenge jurors.
? Each takes oath Challenging
? English approach is that juries should be empanelled by random selection (cf. America).
? Possibility of challenging o Prosecution can ask juror to stand by - no reason needed (Mason) o P and D can challenge for cause
? Bc ineligible or risk of bias.
? Kray judge willing to exclude anyone who read inaccurate paper accounts of alleged gangland activities of the accused.
? Burden on challenger to show on BoP that his objection is wellfounded, usually by showing prima facie evidence of unsuitability. o Judge's residual power - common where juror clearly not literate enough to understand evidence.

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