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Arguments for Jury System in the UK: Democratic Participation

Question from SDFR, Arguments for Jury System in the UK: Democratic Participation

Answer from AI:

The jury system in the UK is heralded as a cornerstone of democratic participation in the justice system, allowing ordinary citizens to have a direct role in legal outcomes. This process not only embodies the democratic principle of participation but also enhances the legitimacy and public confidence in the legal system. The Ministry of Justice’s research by Thomas, J.A., in “Are Juries Fair?” (2010), supports this by highlighting the fairness and impartiality of juries, suggesting that their decisions are in line with legal expectations and public sentiment. Patrick Devlin, in *Trial by Jury* (1956), further argues that the jury system is an essential component of liberty and democracy, acting as a safeguard against arbitrary laws and government power. The Juries Act 1974 institutionalizes this by setting out the framework for jury selection and operation, ensuring a broad representation of society. However, the case of R v Young [1995] QB 324 presents a counter-argument, demonstrating potential flaws in the system where jurors may be influenced by extraneous factors, in this instance, engaging in a séance. Despite this, the overall consensus, supported by robust legal frameworks and scholarly opinion, maintains that the jury system significantly contributes to democratic engagement within the UK’s justice system.

Arguments for Jury System in the UK: Protection Against State Power

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