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B854 - Criminal Law (Court Procedure) Bill (Second Reading) watch

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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    This completely misses the point of juries. It's not a meritocracy - it's based on the constitutional right to be tried by one's peers (though I should note I don't support this right, I do think it would be too controversial to produce a Bill which challenges it directly).

    It's not an attempt to match up minorities, but rather to make it random. Some cultures will, unfortunately, be underrepresented on juries as a result of being underrepresented on the electoral roll, but that cannot be avoided without a database of people being created (something I also support, but which, again, I feel to be too controversially authoritarian for my first Bill in this house).

    Your latter concern is unfounded. First, the jurors are not asked to reach conclusions on the ethics of a situation; they are asked to reach conclusions on the facts. Secondly, this would happen to a much greater extent under the present system.
    I believe trial by one's peers is to be tried by fellow citizens, it should not be taken to mean trial by people of the same intelligence or socio-economic background; there would be nothing wrong with an Oxbridge elite dominating jury service. I do not think there is anything wrong with cultures being under-represented if the jury concludes on facts, however, returning to the example I gave, I disagree, it is founded, if people ignored facts to hold their beliefs that a law is wrong close, when it comes to voting on someone being accused of murder it will only take one juror being unsure and one juror voting unconvinced that would change the verdict of a nine-juror trial.

    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    This, I agree, is a fault with juries in general, but you must see that this Bill is a step in the right direction in this regard - and I suspect a complete removal of juries would be unable to pass this House (though I recommend you write one and I will vote in favour if it doesn't include anything too UKIP-y). In the meantime, the fact that this Bill is an improvement - in this measure, at the bare minimum, surely indicates you ought to vote in favour, even if it's not everything you would ask for?

    It does to a considerable extent. This guidance will make it quite obvious what the right and wrong questions are, and let's remember that asking the wrong questions will be grounds for appeal, so first instance judges will be quite careful about the questions they ask.
    I do not believe it is a step in the right direction, it is a neutral step that does not produce any positive change. Juries will still not decide which evidence is true nor will juries decide which evidence is false, there could be another situation arising where juries methodically work through the list of questions the judge has given them without considering all of the evidence. When juries are asked to return a final verdict I believe juries will be more likely to consider all of the evidence in reaching the decision than they would when given a list of questions, where people will examine evidence without making logical logical links between the pieces of evidence as is needed to properly answer questions.
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    Abstain for now. Interesting concept, but I'm inclined to agree with Nigel Farage on the grounds of judge bias towards leading questions, which may help the defendant or plaintiff. I feel there's sometimes subjectivity to it. I do see section 4, which may help to a certain extent, but you can't necessarily have a clear cut guideline for every case thrust upon a judge, especially for a 20 person committee.
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    (Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
    I believe trial by one's peers is to be tried by fellow citizens, it should not be taken to mean trial by people of the same intelligence or socio-economic background; there would be nothing wrong with an Oxbridge elite dominating jury service. I do not think there is anything wrong with cultures being under-represented if the jury concludes on facts, however, returning to the example I gave, I disagree, it is founded, if people ignored facts to hold their beliefs that a law is wrong close, when it comes to voting on someone being accused of murder it will only take one juror being unsure and one juror voting unconvinced that would change the verdict of a nine-juror trial.
    It's not the same intelligence or the same socio-economic background, it's a balanced mixture of intelligence and socio-economic backgrounds. That's the key point. A jury structured around elites cannot sensibly be regarded as peers (why not ask anyone with a degree from a world-leading university to be on a jury? It's plainly obvious that one's country of origin cannot possibly play such a key role in deciding who one's peers are).

    I do not believe it is a step in the right direction, it is a neutral step that does not produce any positive change. Juries will still not decide which evidence is true nor will juries decide which evidence is false, there could be another situation arising where juries methodically work through the list of questions the judge has given them without considering all of the evidence. When juries are asked to return a final verdict I believe juries will be more likely to consider all of the evidence in reaching the decision than they would when given a list of questions, where people will examine evidence without making logical logical links between the pieces of evidence as is needed to properly answer questions.
    Then I suggest you abstain, rather than voting against.
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    This is in cessation.
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    Division! Clear the lobbies.
 
 
 
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