First trial without jury begins

  TopCat® 14:12 12 Jan 2010
Locked

"BBC legal affairs analyst Clive Coleman said trial by jury was a hallowed principle stretching back to the Magna Carta in 1215..." but others have concerns and are already questioning " that it might damage a fundamental principle of justice. What are your thoughts on this?

After three previous trials I believe that under the circumstances this is now the only way that justice can be fully served and a conclusion reached. What are your thoughts on this? TC.

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  TopCat® 14:15 12 Jan 2010

Please excuse my poor editing! TC.

  ella33 14:44 12 Jan 2010

Topcat, reading through the report, the judge fears that there could be jury "tampering". The accused are maybe prestigious in the underworld so it may be an unsafe jury maybe? Or, I wonder if there may be some fears for the safety of the jury, if there were to be one. It will be interesting to see how the case is tried, from what is reported that is.
It made me wonder what provision is taken to prevent "jury tampering" in daily lawcourts? As far as I know, people receive a letter and are then selected pretty well at random, so there could always be an element of uncertainty, maybe. Obviously this is all as an outsider looking in!

  ella33 14:46 12 Jan 2010

Please excuse the lack of it!! I haven't worked out how to get back after posting. If it is possible that is

  TopCat® 15:27 12 Jan 2010

You raise a valid point there, fourm member. I think it's most certainly something that has been closely examined by the judiciary and, together with other considerations, duly led to this trial without jury. TC.

  bremner 15:35 12 Jan 2010

Police jury protection has been common place for the last twenty or so years.

I have not seen any suggestion that those juries have been in any way influenced as you suggested.

  bri-an 16:32 12 Jan 2010

I supose you also need to ask yourself how you might feel if selected for a high profile case involving, maybe, an alleged gang and armed or violent assault.
Would you be nervous for yourself and family during (and after the trial)?
Real people in the real world have to consider these matters - I think there's definitely a case for jury-less trials for some offences.

  john bunyan 16:35 12 Jan 2010

I agree. This had to be done in N Ireland when the IRA were very likely to influnce the jury. As long as it is rare and very carefully examined by judge(s) there seems no alternative in exceptional cases.

  bremner 16:53 12 Jan 2010

You note I said "suggested" it was used advisedly.

You can bet your bottom dollar that if there was a disproportionate level of conviction in cases involving jury protection then the civil liberties organisations would have been petitioning for a change to the system. I have not heard or read of any such allegations.

As for being a "flaw" in our system I believe it is an essential part of it. I would hate for jurors to be harassed by the press post trial as can occur in the US.

  ella33 19:34 12 Jan 2010

In a case this prestigous, how safe would the jury be from the "underworld" after the trial? There is only protection during the trial and that is apart from media harassment.

  Proclaimer 21:34 12 Jan 2010

the Diplock Courts... Those were recently abolished in Northern Ireland.

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