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Unreasoned Verdict

The Jury's Out

By: Louis Blom-Cooper
Media of Unreasoned Verdict
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Published: 02-05-2019
Format: EPUB eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 128
ISBN: 9781509915248
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £27.00
Online price : £21.60
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About Unreasoned Verdict

The system of jury trial has survived, intact, for 750 years. In the light of contemporary opposition to jury trial for serious offences, this book explains the nature and scope today of jury trial, with its minor exceptions. It chronicles the origins and development of jury trial in the Anglo-Saxon world, seeking to explain and explore the principles that lie at the heart of the mode of criminal trial. It observes the distinction between the professional judge and the amateur juror or lay participant, and the value of such a mixed tribunal. Part of the book is devoted to the leading European jurisdictions, underlining their abandonment of trial by jury and its replacement with the mixed tribunal in pursuance of a political will to inject a lay element into the trial process. Democracy is not an essential element in the criminal trial. The book takes a look at the appellate system in crime, from the Criminal Appeals Act 1907 to the present day, and urges the reform of the appellate court, finding the trial decision unsatisfactory as well as unsafe. Other important issues are touched upon – judicial ethics and court-craft; perverse jury verdicts (the nullification of jury verdicts); the speciality of fraud offences, and the selection of models for various crimes, as well as suggested reforms of the waiver of a jury trial or the ability of the defendant to choose the mode of trial. The section ends with a discussion of the restricted exceptions to jury trial, where the experience of 30 years of judge-alone trials in Northern Ireland – the Diplock Courts – is discussed. Finally, the book proffers its proposal for a major change in direction – involvement of the defendant in the choice of mode of trial, and the intervention (where necessary) of the expert, not merely as a witness but as an assessor to the judiciary or as a supplemental decision-maker.

Table Of Contents

1. Justice and Fairness: The Basis of a Fair Trial
2. The Theory of Jury Function
3. Reason for Reasons
4. European Dimensions
5. The Value of the Mixed (Lay Participation) Tribunal
6. The Tale of Taxquet
7. Juryless Trials: Diplock Courts and Others
8. Court-craft: Judicial and Advocate Ethics
9. Expert Evidence
10. Serious Fraud Offences: Whither Their Trial?
11. Waiver or Choice: An Australasian Example
12. Jury Reality: The Search for Empirical Evidence
13. The Scope of Jury Trial and Reasoned Decisions
14. Perverse Verdicts: Jury Nullification
15. The Magistracy Today: Towards Professionalism
16. Jury Trial – A Modern Mode of Trial
17. The Appellate Process

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