5.1.7 Reforms and alternatives to the jury system Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in 5.1.7 Reforms and alternatives to the jury system Deck (11)
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1

Recent Reform:

2008 Amendment to the Juries Act 2000 (Vic)

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2008 Amendment to the Juries Act 2000 Description:

The 2008 Amendments to the Juries Act 2000 explicitly prohibits jurors from undertaking any form of enquiry regarding the trial they are sitting on, to find out information in addition to what is presented in court.

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2008 Amendment to the Juries Act 2000 Strength:

This reform aims to guarantee the notion of a fair trial, as the jury deliberates solely on the facts and evidence presented to them during the trial, rather than including evidence that has not been tested in the courtroom.

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2008 Amendment to the Juries Act 2000 Weakness:

However, in some cases hearsay evidence may be quite appropriate in helping a juror in understanding the 'whole context and painting the whole picture'

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Possible Reform:

Specialist Juror/Foreperson

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Specialist Juror/Foreperson Description:

This would involve having a person on the jury with relevant experience in the legal profession to be the foreperson.

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Specialist Juror/Foreperson Strength:

The specialist foreperson may assist the other jury members in understanding legal jargon and understanding the rules of evidence and procedure.

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Specialist Juror/Foreperson Weakness:

The jury may rely too heavily on this foreperson and his/her advice during the trial process. This would influence the notion of a fair trial, as the outcome would be heavily based on one person's opinions rather than equally over the entire jury.

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One alternative to the jury:

Professional jurors

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Professional Jurors Strength:

This new rank of public servants would be skilled in listening to, understanding and evaluating complex evidence and arguments and therefore hopefully result in a fairer outcome with the insurance that no evidence is disregarded due to inexperience.

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Professional Jurors Weakness:

Professional jurors and their experience over time may prevent them from being impartial or just affect their view about a certain case as opposed to the current jurors who only decide on the case they have been called for.

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