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Qualification of Jurors - very usually has 12 jurors.

-Member of the public - 18-70 years old,

-Must be a registered voter and on the electoral register,

-Must have lived in the UK for at least 5 years, since they were 13.

Disqualified -

-On bail for criminal offence,

-Served a tern of 5 years imprisonment,

-In the last 10 years: served a custodial sentence, had a suspended sentence, had various community orders, community rehabilitation order, punishment order, and drug treatment order.

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ineligible -

-Mental disorders and mental health problems,

-If as a result of mental health disorder, you are a resident in hospital,

-Regulary visits doctors for treatment - for mental disorder,

-Has a guardian under Mental Health Act 1983.

-Court has decided that because of mental health issue they are not able to manage affairs.

Discretionary excusals -

-Heavily pregnant,


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-Medical condition,

-Public exams,

-Holidays booked,

-Childcare problems.


Some disabilities can lead to excusals/discharge/deafness/blindness/mobility/diability.

Selection -

-Jury Summoning Officer - arranges with the Central Jury Summoning Bureau, to get names from computer, from court area for 2 week period.

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-Those who can't attend or shouldn't attend when summond to court should tell the court.

-Other attend court for a 2 week period - BUT if the case is longer than 2 weeks, they must attend the trial and the court will notify them.

-If not enough jurors turn up, special power = 'Praying a Talesman'. - Ask members of public to become a juror which happened in Middlesex Crown Court 1992.

-The jury in waiting are told the name of defendant - asked if they know them, if they do they leave the court room and go to the jury 'pool' and wait to be called for the next case.

-Names of jurors (who don't know dft), written on card, court clerk shuffles them and reads out 12 names.

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Vetting -of jurors is random for criminal convictions. Political afflications are not checked unless it's a case of national security.

Challenge can be by prosecution or defence. 3 ways:

1)Challenged to 'the array' - all 12. - Romford 1993 - all from the same place , 2 lived in the same road. R v Fraser - all white jury, in ethnic area. Defendant was from an ethnic background - this was an exception as race isn't normally accepted.

2)Challenge for cause - by defence, challenge individual juror for vailed reason - used to know them.

3)'Stand by for the Crown' - by prosecution, used to remove 'manifestly unsuitable' juror, OR in terrorism or nation security trial where vetting has been authorised.

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Role -

1)Used in Crown Court cases where dft pleads not guilty - about 30'000 cases each year,                                                                                                                         2)Decide the facts,                                                                                                     3)Listen to evidence and see exhibits,                                                                   4)Can take notes but only to be used within the court room and jury rooms and cant be taken home,                                                                                                         5)Judge can direct the jury,                                                                                 6)Judge sums up the case and directs jury on the law involved,                            7)Jury retires to a private room and makes the decision: guilty or not guilty.

s8 Contept of Court Act 1981 - makes it an offence to disclose anything discussed in the jury room. - Brought in as newspapers were oaying large sums of money to jurors for the story, so this makes it difficult to discover whether jurors have understood the evidence in complex cases.

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Jury must try to reach an unanimous verdict - where they all agree.

1)After 2 hours if the jury hasn't reached a verdict the judge can direct them and he will accpet a majority verdict, which have been allowed since 1967.                           2)Verdict can be 10:2 or 11:1. When there are 9 jurors all must agree (a jury cannot go below 9). They were brought in to stop 'Jury Nobbling'.                                          3)If there is a majoirty decision the foreman must announce the numbers agreeing and disagreeing - according to s17 Juries Act 1974 - to make sure all majority is legal. 20% of verdicts are made by majoirty votes.                                                                 4)Judge has to accept their decision, even if he doesn't agree (-Bushells Case) and jurys gives no reason for their decision.

Bushells Case - jurors refused to convict Quakers of unlawful assembly. Trial judge woud not accept not guilty verdict and ordered jurors to resume their deliberations without food or drink. When they still refused to convict the court fined them and locked them in prison until the fines were paid. Released on appeal - court help that they could not be punished for their verdict.

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Advantages of Jurors

1)Public Confidence - public likes having a jury. Been called a 'Bastion of Liberty', important for democratic society.

2)Jury equity - decision based on 'fairness'. (Ponting - senior civil servant sent confidential documents on the sinking of the Belgrano to Labour MP. Documents used in parliament to criticise Marharet Thatcher. Ponting charges under Offical Screts Act 1911, he was guity and trail judge directed the jusy that his actions amounted to the offence charged but they jury aquitted him. And Owen, son kiiled when knocked off bike by unroadworthy lorry driver - uninsured, blind in one eye and never passed the test. When released the father of the boy traced him down and shot him in the back. He was guilty of wounding and possession of a gun with intent. Jury were instructed to approach the evidence not how the father felt. Jury aquitted father on all counts.)

3)Open system of justice - members of the public see justice system working and are usually impressed.

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4)Secrecy of jury decision making - protects jurors and cuts down on 'nobbling'.

5)Impartiality - jury are not biased, they have no interest in the case or verdict. They dont get 'case-heartened as they don't sit on a jury all the time.

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Disadvantages of Jurors

1)Perverse decisions - surprising or offf decision. Not justified.

2)Secrecy - Jury doesn't give reasons so noone knows how they reached the decision. They could have drawn straws for example just because they wanted to go home. R v Young - used oujia board. Only came out as it was done at the hotel not in the jury room. R v Mirza - confirmed, no enquiry into jury room discussions.

3)Racial bias - Jury might have racial prejudice. Very difficult to know.

4)Media influence - Jurors read papers and watch TV so they subcoincously already bias to defendant.

5)Can be upsetting - offered counselling.

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