?After the Norman Conquest in Britain, the concept of jury system were then imported, though in presence function were quite different compare to the early. The jury system is considered important in the English Legal system now, although only a small number of cases were used. It is absolute necessary role to ensuring the criminal justice system works for the advantage of the public rather than advantage of the unjust leader. In the trial process in England and Wales were involved. In the magistrates' courts, magistrates will decide whether the person is guilt or innocence.
In the Crown Court, a jury consist of twelve ordinary layperson will determine the verdict. Jury is function to collect the evidence and make up a mind on what the exact facts of the case are and what the case actually happened. The judges have to do his part by giving the direction to the jury on the related law and summarize the evidence before it is in order to reach the verdict. The judges then will call up the jury to reach a unanimous conclusion. The jury can request to gives a majority verdict which one person disagree or more either 10-2 or 11-1.
If they reach a verdict in a reasonable time but could not come up with a unanimous conclusion then majority verdict will be granted. The judges will get an order of the court to discharge a jury if they are not able to arrive a majority decision and the re-trial will be perform. There are two types of cases uses the jury system that is the civil and criminal cases. In civil cases, the jury is to decide the amount of money to be compensate or awarded from the damages. While in criminal cases, the defendant has a right to a trial by jury.
Jury can try a case in Crown Court and if the defendant found not guilty, and the trial continue to proceed, the defendant then will be tried before a jury. Jury is to come up with a verdict to decide guilt or innocence without given a reason then judges will decide the suitable sentence. It is the jury that to decide the facts and on those facts to make a conclusion. In the criminal justice system, the jury represents the just face, since it is not able to be disputed decision on any basis it chooses.
Jury is independence from judge where judges could not challenge the decision made by the jury based on the case in R v. Bushell’s(1670)- juror can give a verdict according to their conscience. Basically jury system will be use more in criminal cases compare to the civil cases because layperson will not know the exact amount cost of the damages to be compensated. For the jury to perform effectively, there are a lot of qualities. It is said that jury must be independent, impartiality, representative and must be selected by randomly.
Under the Schedule 33 of Criminal Justice Act 2003, to be qualified as a juror in a selection, the person must be aged in between 18 to 70, who is registered on electoral register as a local government or parliamentary elector, must have to be a normal citizen and resident in the United Kingdom for at least 5 years since the age of 13 and when it turn to 18 then it will automatically as a qualified jury service without any conviction and is not a mentally disordered person. In the 1972, requirement is added that juror should be an owner of a property.
The Central Summoning Bureau will select the juror from the electoral register, then checks juror for any records of conviction and liaise with the court on how many number of juror is required to be summoned. Until the Criminal Justice Act 2003 larger the categories of people were ineligible for the jury service. A selected person that disqualified and ineligible to serve as a juror will not be permitted into the court. Juror were randomly selected from the electoral register system by using the computer, anyone who is selected from the electoral register is probably needed to serve as a juror in the court as the requirement was satisfied.
People who get selected will then receive a summons to be present at the Crown Court at a specific time. Failures to attend will cause a fine and doing drug and drink will not be allowed to enter. Overall a jury must be in a good condition and competent in the court. The panel that consists number of summoned will then divided the jury to individual case as it was selected from the panel by ballot. After the selection of jury, both parties have the right to look through the jury list. There is a list of people who could able to avoid the jury service, or for who it was not suitable to qualified, as a jury before the Criminal Justice.
Act 2003 exist. This cause that it become very common for people to avoid the jury system by their business reason, or other, for example like a doctor who is less seen as a juries. If a juror were low capacity to act in a case, because of the ability to understand or difficulties in language then the judges has the power to discharge a juror in the jury service – The Juries Act 1974. Under section 16 of Juries Act 1974 also stated that if a person is taken ill or it has become apparent that he may be biased once the trial begun then that person may be disqualified.
The precise representation of socio-economic group and ethnic group on juries is unsure. Recently the juries are less middle-class and the minds are getting younger with immature thinking as before and still there is a lot under-representation with women in jury system. It is impossible to find a jury of 12 that is really intelligent who will control their emotion well. Ideally, in a use of jury in a trial should be democratic and fair which the jury must be different people and different background but this wouldn’t exist in a reality.
Jury system is not always useful in a trial. If a person were guilty of a crime then he would take the chances to try on a jury in a trial. While if is innocent then it is rather to have judges to decide the case. It is a key to the issues inherent to your case when a potential juror holds a bias, it is not expected to evaluate the evidence objectively and it is not good candidate to serve as a jury in that particular case1. Ingman suggested that jurors maybe biased or against certain groups.
For example, member of the opposite sex may favour the attractive, prejudice against the police in cases like malicious prosecution or false imprisonment and some jurors maybe also biased toward the police or some customs officers. Many cases was reported racial bias it says that it must ensure that ethnically unbalanced juries do not become ethnically biased ones, if the law does not allow for the artificial creation of ethnic balance in juries. 2 It is common that all or two-third of jurors selected are white, most are middle age, and from middle-class in current system.
This cause unfair to the ethnic of minorities in a country to be a jury and of course will affect the verdict where it might exist racial discrimination or bias. The Runciman Commission and Lord Justice Auld suggested an idea to have a balanced juries in a trial but this could not possible happen because random selection is an element in a jury system. The Auld Report made the public disagreement with the recommendation which allow the judges to empanel another 3 jurors from ethnic minorities which in case race is the important issue. An assumption that a jury that is randomly selected has no ability of hearing a case without racial bias has been criticized.
In the case of R v. Smith – the defendant who is a black man try to appealed on the ground that a fair trial should have a multi-racial jury because the jury selected was all white. The decision was followed in Ford’s case to dismiss the appeal. The Court of Appeal held in the case of R v. Ford (1989) that the trial judges has no power to carried out properly with the composition of the jury or the jury panel to produce a multi-racial jury and there is no fundamental for jury to be racially balanced because in the principle that jury should be randomly selected.
The English courts does not seemed to done anything about it and letting it to happen albeit we know that there were racial bias in the jury system. In Sander v. United Kingdom (2001) - the court had concluded that the appellant had not received a fair trial and had been breach Article 6(1) of the European Court of Human Rights. The fact is that the jury had made a racist remarks and jokes of the Asian, the judges should have discharged the jury and change the jury so that it does not breach the right to a fair trial. The court distinguished its earlier decision of Gregory v.
United Kingdom (1997) – the judgment is that there was no admission by a juror that he had made a racist comment, in form of joke or otherwise; there was no indication as to who had made the complaint and the complaint was vague and imprecise. 3 The research by Dr. Darbyshire also proved that ‘’white juries are, or are perceived to be, less fair to black than white’’ and it is suggested by Lord Justice Auld4. When there were no potential black jurors in the jury pool, the black defendant is more likely than the white defendant to be convicted in a crime.
There is no significant under-representation of black and minority ethnic groups among those who summoned as a jury service in the research made by Professor Cheryl Thomas5. It is successfully reach an ethnically representative group of potential juror in the process of randomly summoning from the electoral lists. Using English was not a first language which will never effect the ethnic where ethnically was only relevant as to whether a summoned juror serves because those without enough command of English are excused from jury service.
Professor Thomas’s research found that race of the defendant have a significant impact on the votes of some jurors. Black and minority ethnic group juror were significantly less likely to vote for their own ethnic to convict than a white defendant in certain cases, but this does not affect the outcome because the group of juror were in a minority and defendant convicted regardless. SECRECY OF JURY: Once the jury is retire back to the jury room considering their verdict of a case, it must be secretly and are not allowed to communicated with anyone other than the judges and the court official that is assigned until the verdict given.
When they return back to the court to reach a verdict, no reason are required or disclose any form of information on the conclusion is reached. This made the juror sovereign when reaching a verdict. If the jury reveal anything of their decision then it will breach of S. 8 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 which will amount to a criminal offence. This is to make sure it will ensures the freedom of discussion in the jury room, influences from outside was protected (and from harassment), ensuring the finality of the verdict, enable juror to bring a unpopular verdict, and etc.
Judges must disclose the term of the note that sent by the jury during the deliberation to advice the both parties and to convene again the court without present of the jury to submit on the matter. These directions to the jury would be wrong if the judges given through the medium of the court clerk. When the judges given direction on the matter, the jury must recalled it. It is not able to challenge on appeal of the verdict made by the jury because it is sovereignty and Court of Appeal does not receive any evidence of the jury discussion in the jury room. In R v.
Mirza(2004) – House of Lord stated that due to the secrecy of the jury, no one including the judges could possible to investigate what is happening inside the jury room. Before the jury reach a verdict, the trial court could make such an inquiry, if appeal was launched, a report about the trial is require from the judges by the request of Court of Appeal. The Practice Direction was then issued stating that jury must be alerted ensure by the trial judges that they need to bring any concerns about the others jurors attention of the judges immediately and not when the case is concluded.
On the other hand, sometime the jury is not being responsible by revealing the judges that there were member of the jury being allegation or making racist joke inside the jury room and still proceed to continue the trial and came out with a verdict. In R v. Qureshi(2002) – the member of the jury contacted the defendant’s solicitor stating that the other member of jury had been making racially prejudiced and reached a decision to the defendant guilt after three days of the verdicts of guilty.
The court then held that the case must follow the case of R v. Miah (1997). It is stated that there are no further inquiry in this case, the jury must investigated it when the process of the case but not after the case was concluded, if not it is then result of the Human Right Act 1998 and not part of the English Law. When a jury is secretly in a room, no ways of knowing if the jury understood the case and came to a decision for the right reason. Jury may not know where the judges are directing them and misunderstand the meaning of the judges.
This is a very common reason for the jury to make a wrong verdict in a case. For example in the case of R v. Young – the court for a reason allowed the appeal but it is ordered to retrial. It is because there were misguided on the event of the Ouija board occurred that will influenced the other jurors and may thereby have prejudiced the appellant. Jury system has a wide range proposals been put forward. Trial in the criminal cases should follow the civil cases where only single judge is used in the trial.
By using single judge will have the advantages where the case will be heard and decide very fast compare with using jury in the trial. Besides that, it help to reduce the likely hood of preserve verdict and defending the problem where influencing the jury from others. It is for Parliament to ordain the law, and not for juries to resist the enforcement of laws punctually enacted. Change in the law, the United Kingdom will ensure compliance of the Article (6) of the European Convention of Human Rights the right 150 to a fair trial.
6 Jury is not well legal qualified or educated which this make the jury hard to understand the case they are hearing and no one will know whether the jury understand it or not. This is why the Jury trial should be abolished. The trial should only be heard by Single Judge and lay assessors which for example in the Scandinavian Countries and Northern Ireland. In conclusion, jury system is balance or equalizer. Jury system will help to protect the person right in the trial and giving a great hope on the defendant. Jury is to decide or make a final decision whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.
Equality, fairness, and justice will be unknown if the trial is without jury and this will cause every of the defendant to declared guilty by the government. The jury system is also effective in delivering justice by ensuring that the community’s values and expectations are reflected in the verdict, by recognizing the rights of the victims, the defendants and the community, and by maintaining the accessibility of justice. 7 However, reforms to the jury system are necessary to improve its resource efficiency and to maintain its effectiveness in upholding justice.