Benefits Of Jury In The English Legal System

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Trial by Jury is a venerated feature of the English Legal System and traces its roots back to Magna Carta in 1215. However, despite being the subject of media scrutiny in more recent years, it is important to consider the merits of the jury system as it represents more than just democratic fairness, they embody dedication to delivering justice and encompass a unique set of morals used as guidance to deliver it correctly. Perhaps the benefits of jury trials are best argued when considering the alternative of a judge-led trial which gives power to a single individual to administer justice. Through further exploration, jury trials can be seen as the only system able to not only guarantee justice, but to also deliver it effectively on the basis that they are a group of unbiased citizens, able to deliver their verdicts independently from the judiciary, to avoid any influence, and the state, to avoid any interference.

In England and Wales, an estimated 178,000 British citizens are summoned for jury service every year. However, the English legal system has undergone major changes that could significantly reduce this number as the right to be tried by a jury of peers has now been limited by Parliament under the Criminal Justice Act 2003. This requires a judge to order a trial without a jury in certain fraud cases
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Jurors’ are lay members of the public who as a panel of human beings, are capable of judging guilt based on the facts as well as character, honesty and conscience. By representing society, they are able to add value to the system by making decisions based on a lived experience, using a moral compass developed through having been a member of society. Thus, trial by jury can be seen as symbol of reassurance and reinforces the justice system as not merely a process that decides guilt, but also, when considered amongst the morals of our society, if they are deserving of

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