Jury Independance

Suggested clause:

'Juries in court proceedings must be:

- randomly selected 

- Independent of the other participants in the court proceedings before them

- Free from interference

- Required to keep their deliberations confidential'

edited on Apr 10, 2015 by Ian Smith

Ian Smith Apr 5, 2015

Dear All,

I am posting a quick comment here and in my other ideas.

Firstly, I want to say how much I have enjoyed seeing all of your contributions on this and other ideas and how impressed I am with the range of expertise and erudition which has filled these debates.

Secondly, I wish to put forward a couple of suggestions as to a way forward at this stage.  They are:

A.   I suggest that we all refrain from further voting until the ideas have been refined and represented and have then been debated for a while.  My thinking here is that we will want to see the reshaped ideas and see the comments on those refined ideas before we decide whether they are to be voted up or down,  I do not think that we should refrain from voting on comments but perhaps try not to vote too hastily on them.

B.  Now that the hurly burly of the "Hacking" phase (some of it quite savage) has passed, I hope and wish that we will adopt a more collaborative and less combative approach in our commentary, so that commentary is given a chance to be constructive and really do the job of refining the ideas in question.

C.  I would hope that we can refrain from attacking the very existence of the idea under discussion in this phase or the fact that it has successfully gone through to this phase against the wishes of those who voted it down.  I sincerely hope that the previous critics of an idea, will still respect that it found favour with the crowd and now help to refine the idea in this phase.

Thirdly, I will try my best not to introduce any more typos and mangled phrases! 

Best wishes for the holiday weekend!


John Z Apr 5, 2015

Should those reporting for jury duty be random BUT the attorneys decide which one's go on the actual jury pool, OR, should the jury pool truly be random with the attorney's not having a say as to who is selected on the actual jury pool?

Rob G Apr 5, 2015

Traditionally, we've gone for genuinely random, save for anyone who knows a defendant or victim, and I don't really see any benefit to changing that.

John Z Apr 5, 2015

So the lawyers don't voir dire the prospective jurors?

Rob G Apr 5, 2015

Not to the extent it's done in the US. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juries_in_Engla...tory_challenges

I think it's one of the reasons that pre-trial reporting in the media is much more restricted here than it is in the US - as there's no detailed questioning of jurors, there's a need to prevent (potential) jurors hearing wild speculation before and during a court case.


View all replies (3)

Hugh Ryan Apr 5, 2015

In the US - or maybe just some states? - I understand jurors are free to talk to the press after the verdict has been handed down. Any views for or against this practise being adopted here?

John Z Apr 5, 2015

I am not a fan as to that practice because it publicizes the deliberation process, but even if it is forbidden with a "gag rule", there will still likely be a "leak" from an unnamed juror.  Anything short of a security issue, I don't know if there is a benefit to a "gag rule"/   

Ian Smith Apr 5, 2015

The rule that jurors keep their deliberations confidential, both during and after a trial, seems to work well with very few reported leaks.  Assuming that's correct, would you suggest that we change to the US approach allowing jurors to reveal their deliberations? ian

John Z Apr 5, 2015

If it works in the UK, don't change a thing.

Hugh Ryan Apr 5, 2015

I'm not suggesting a change per se, rather that we have looked properly at the alternatives and given them a fair consideration before coming to a view.

John Z Apr 5, 2015

I know that when it comes to high-profile trials, many jurors sell their "stories" (which may be sensationalized for the sake of profiting).  If I was on a jury panel and I knew that some other juror may publicize the internal conversations amongst jurors, then I would have a certain level of concern about having any candid conversation with my fellow jurors because a conversation that is stated in confidence may later become public.  My personal unscientific opinion is that that may hinder the jury process.    

Hugh Ryan Apr 6, 2015

Having done some research on the subject, I am now convinced jury deliberations should be kept in the jury room.

View all replies (4)