Court Proceedings Essay

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Court Proceedings Court proceedings are the most public manifestation of the criminal justice process, the arena in which justice is very literally "seen to be done". This is especially true of the trial, generally assumed to be the stage in the process where the defendant has his or her day in court and the opportunity to assert innocence. The trial is a vial part of the adversarial system, and as we have seen the right to trial by one's peers, represented by the jury system, and as we have seen the right to trial by one's peers, represented by the jury system, is seen as a fundamental protection for the …show more content…
In the Crown court, the body charged with determining guilt or not is the jury. Defended by some as the bastion of democracy, castigated by others as unwieldy anachronism that allows miscarriages of justice to take place, the jury has been part of the criminal justice system in one form or another since the twelfth century. Juries are currently composed of 12 men and women drawn from the register of electors for the area in which the trial is to take place. The qualification for jury service is now laid down in the Juries Act 1974. To be eligible for jury service a person must be:

- between 18 and 70

- ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 5 years since the age of 13

- not ineligible

- not disqualified

Members of the judiciary and legal profession, the

clergy and the mentally disordered are ineligible. Disqualified categories of persons include anyone who has received a custodial sentence of more than 5 years or a life sentence, those who have been sentenced to probation within the last 5 years, or to community service or imprisonment within the last 10 years. Added to this list of those debarred from jury service under the Criminal Justice And Public Order Act 1994 (CJPOA 1994) are those on police or court bail. Other categories have the right to be excused jury service if they so wish, including the medical profession,

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