Letter: Time Limits Needed for Trials with Juries
Michael O'Kane, The Independent (London, England)
Sir: The Government has been keen for some time to abolish the automatic right to trial by jury in serious and complex cases, such as the Jubilee line case, but this provision has yet to be enacted following opposition in the House of Lords.
It is often said that jurors have difficulty in understanding complex cases, but there is very little evidential support for this: in the 10- month long Wickes case, the judge told the jury: "Those who may hereafter criticise juries' appreciation of lengthy and complex fraud cases would have done well to see the care and attention that ... you have given to this case throughout".
One difficulty in this debate is the lack of research into the effectiveness of juries in complex cases. In order to be valuable such research would have to consider jury deliberations and this is at present precluded by section 8 of the Contempt of Court Act …
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Publication information: Article title: Letter: Time Limits Needed for Trials with Juries. Contributors: Michael O'Kane - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: March 25, 2005. Page number: 32. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.