The Process of Choosing Jurors and Their Role Essay

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The Process of Choosing Jurors and Their Role

The right to trial by jury can be traced back to Magna Carta (The Great Charter of Liberties, 1215) and the independence of the jury from the judge was established in Bushell's Case (1670).

In criminal cases, the jury make the decision whether the defendant is guilty or not guilt. However, this is approximately only 3% of all crimes, and these are heard in the Crown Court. In civil cases, the jury decide if the claimant has proved their case and the amount of damages (compensation). Nevertheless, it is a right in only four types of civil case, which are: defamation over £10,000, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment and fraud. In other civil
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Before the Criminal Justice Act 2003 people such as medical professionals, judges and police officers were exempt from jury duty.

Certain individuals can gain discretional excusal if they have a very good reason. For example, being a full time member of her Majesty’s Service, such as the armed forces. They can also be excused by the judge for lack of capacity because of physical disability, for example deafness or inadequate comprehension of the English language. Almost everyone will have to perform jury service until the Lord Chancellor issues Guidance, which states 7 major points on how and why people can be excused from jury service.

The method of selection has changed in the last few years. The old method involved sending out notices and questioning the possible jury so that they could be selected. On September the 4th 2000 juries began to be selected by computer. This was done to make jury service more attractive and stop thousands of people a year evading jury service. The computer selects jurors from electoral rolls, issues summonses and liases with courts on the number of jurors needed. This improved the lot of the juror by eliminating time spent hanging around waiting for trials and sometimes to be never called at all. It also centralised all requests to be excused jury service so that they are treated confidentially and

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