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NCJ Number: 50938 Find in a Library
Title: JURY IN ENGLAND - DECLINE AND FALL? (FROM AMERICAN JURY SYSTEM - FINAL REPORT, 1978, BY R S JACOBSON AND B MORRISSEY - SEE NCJ-50937)
Author(s): M ZANDER
Corporate Author: Roscoe Pound-American Trial Lawyers Foundation
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Roscoe Pound-American Trial Lawyers Foundation
Washington, DC 20007
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS PAPER ADDRESSES THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH THE EXTINCTION OF JURIES IN CIVIL CASES AND GROWING STRENGTH IN THE CRIMINAL COURTS.
Abstract: THE TWO LEVELS OF COURTS IN ENGLAND FOR CRIMINAL CASES ARE CROWN COURTS AND MAGISTRATES' COURT. THE TWO LEVELS OF COURTS FOR CIVIL CASES INCLUDE HIGH COURTS IN WHICH THE QUEEN'S BENCH PERMITS JURY TRIALS, AND COUNTY COURTS. FOR SOME TIME TRIAL BY JUDGE ALONE IN CIVIL CASES HAS BEEN PREFERRED BY PRACTITIONERS FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS: QUICKER (I.E., CHEAPER); UNPREDICTABILITY OF JURIES IN AWARDING DAMAGES; DIFFICULTY OF APPEALING JURY DECISIONS AND RETRIAL CHANCES ARE GREATER WITH JURY TRIALS. SUPPORT FOR JUDGES ALONE IN THESE CASES IS BASED UPON THE EVIDENCE OF ASSESSABILITY, UNIFORMITY, AND PREDICTABILITY. A STUDY BY THE OXFORD PENAL RESEARCH UNIT OF THE JURY SYSTEM IN ENGLAND USED 'SHADOW' JURIES AND RESULTED IN THE FOLLOWING CONCLUSIONS: THE 'SHADOW' JURY AND REAL JURY AGREED; THERE WAS A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF DETERMINATION IN LOOKING FOR EVIDENCE; DIFFICULTIES WITH THE TERMS OF 'CIRCUMSTANTIAL' EVIDENCE SURFACED; PERVERSITY IN THE FINAL DECISION WAS SLIGHT; APPROACH TO THE FUNCTION OF LAW WAS FLEXIBLE; AND A STRONG CASE OF EQUITY WAS APPARENT WHEN ALL EVIDENCE WAS CONSIDERED. THE FAULKS COMMITTEE ON THE LAW OF DEFAMATION DETERMINED THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING JURIES. IN VIEW OF THESE CONSIDERATIONS, THE FOLLOWING ALTERNATIVES WERE CONSIDERED BY THE COMMITTEE: (1) THE COURT SHOULD HAVE A DISCRETION WITH OR WITHOUT GUIDELINES IN STATUTES RULES OF COURT, TO ORDER TRIAL BY JURY AS IN OTHER ACTIONS; (2) THE JURY'S ROLE SHOULD BE LIMITED TO MAKING FINDINGS OF FACT, WITH DAMAGES ASSESSED BY THE COURT; (3) JURIES MIGHT BE ABOLISHED FOR DEFAMATION ACTIONS; (4) A JUDGE COULD SIT WITH LAY ASSESSORS OF SOME KIND; AND (5) THE PRESENT SYSTEM COULD BE LEFT AS IS. DESPITE THE POSITIVE IMPLICATIONS OF TRIALS BY JURY, INDICATIONS ARE THAT THE JURY WILL NOT BECOME A MAJOR FORM OF TRIAL AGAIN IN ENGLAND FOR CIVIL CASES BASICALLY BECAUSE OF THE PROBLEMS RELATED TO DECIDING DAMAGES. THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF RETURNING TO THE USE OF JURIES IN THESE CASES IF THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES INVOLVE DETERMINING GUILT AND NOT THE SENTENCE. THERE ARE STATISTICAL DATA TO SUPPORT RECOMMENDATIONS. CASE STUDIES AND FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (JCP)
Index Term(s): Civil liability; Criminal responsibility; England; Judicial review; Juries; Juror utilization; Trial procedures
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50938

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