Download this article Editor Note: Two Swiss scholars and an American scholar explain the experience of abolishing the civil trial in Switzerland.
Thursday, May 27, Published at What do you think of the jury trial system? Read what you think of the jury trials system?
Currently defendants in certain cases can chose whether they want a trial by magistrates or by judge and jury.
About 22, people in England and Wales will lose this option under Jack Straw's proposal. The Home Secretary said, "England and Wales has the only jurisdiction system we can find where defendants have the right to choose their court.
Twelve good men and true The jury trial in its modern form stems back to and covers a wide range of middle-ranking offences such as theft and handling stolen goods. Serious crimes are automatically heard by a jury. There are also plans to abolish jury trials for complex fraud cases.
The Home Office cited the huge cost of such cases to the taxpayer and the strain on judges, juries and defendants. We asked, is this the beginning of the end for Britain's ancient jury system? Do you believe it is the fairest system available or is it old fashioned and in need of reform?
Juries of ordinary people are by their very nature more influenced by emotion than facts because they aren't trained to deal with these. That being said, magistrates are probably not that much better placed to do so. John Cahill, UK The comments by the British magistrate - and the apparent contempt she has for the perceptive abilities of a jury drawn from members of the public - illustrate precisely why the right to trial by jury should not go.
As a junior reporter I spent many long hours in magistrates court and it was clear the odds were stacked against the defendant - the onus was v. The statistics, which show the much higher level of convictions in lesser courts, back this up. Believe me, if ever you find yourself in court, you stand a far better chance of an 'emotional' jury divining your innocence than a cynical team of magistrates.
Nick, England Trial without jury works perfectly in the European continent. A judge is sole decider. A full and total discretion given to someone who knows the law and can apply it masterfully.
It's a shame we haven't followed suit. These new 'rules' may be a first step. It's a shame, because those people who complain about the removal of many triable either way offences should do well to know that that old phrase you always heard at school 'The minority spoil it for the majority' is true.
If people were not abusing their right to jury trial, we'd still have it. Stacey, UK The decision of a single magistrate is always subject to that person's mood etc. With a jury this should be cancelled out simply by the law of averages, but these people, whether good and true or not, have no training in how to weigh up all the evidence fairly.- The Individual and the Court System - Essay The Australian jury trial system is said to have many merits and defects, and as Winston Churchill once said about democracy the Australian jury system is “not a perfect system, it is just the least worst of all the others”.
US Jury System The use of juries to decide cases is a distinguishing feature of the American legal system. Few other countries in the world use juries as in the United States.
Jury service in the American justice system plays a very important role in the checks and balances of power, the participation of regular citizens in government, and the right of defendants to receive an impartial trial.
The jury system is a lottery and you have no guarantee that the people have an adequate grasp of the concepts involved.
The court room is a forum for a display of semantics by lawyers and too many people are nonplussed by it. Abolition of Juries: The Switzerland Experience. by are setting aside for the moment the benefits of juries to note that it is fair to observe that the criticisms of the American jury system have been sweeping, emotional, and frequent.
Second, jurors, unlike judges, are not generally worldly, well educated, and trained in rigorous.
Jury service protects the people who won't ever run for judge, and it protects the people who don't have the spare cash to donate to judges' political campaigns.
It is a hardship. But if you find yourself stuck there anyway, stop sulking about it, put yourself in the shoes of the people who will be bound by your interpretation of justice, and do your civic duty.