Unit 4 AOS2a - Chapter 10: The Jury System Flashcards Preview

Unit 3/4 Legal Studies > Unit 4 AOS2a - Chapter 10: The Jury System > Flashcards

Flashcards in Unit 4 AOS2a - Chapter 10: The Jury System Deck (73):
1

What is the jury system?

The jury system is trial by peers. It dates back to the Magna Carta in England, when it was said that no free man shall be imprisoned except by lawful judgment of his peers.

The jury system provides the opportunity for community participation in the legal process, and for the law to be applied according to community standards.

2

What does the jury act as?

An independent decision maker in criminal trials and in some civil trials. A jury is never used in the Magistrates’ Court, in appeal cases or when the accused pleads guilty, and is optional in civil cases.

3

What must happen for a jury to be required?

The situation must first have arisen that involves either a dispute between two individuals (a civil case) or a person who has breached society’s rules and has committed a crime.

4

What does the jury do in both criminal and civil trials?

In both civil and criminal trials, the jury is the decider of the facts. In other words, it makes a decision about which facts it believes to be true. The jury must also apply the facts to the law as explained by the judge. The judge makes decisions on points of law.

5

What is the role of the jury in both criminal and civil trials?

The role of the jury in both civil and criminal trials is to:
• listen to all the evidence
• understand and remember the evidence put forward (which is sometimes complicated)
• not lose concentration (which can be especially difficult during long and complicated questioning)
• make sense of all the evidence
• understand the points of law as explained by the judge
• be objective and bring an open mind to the task, putting aside any prejudices or preconceived ideas
• form an opinion on which party is in the right, or on whether the accused is guilty or not guilty
• take part in the deliberations in the jury room
• make a decision on the facts of the case (called a verdict)
• decide on the amount of damages (in civil cases only).

6

The role of the jury: evidence in the trial

Jurors are required to consider only the evidence that is presented to them in the trial when making their decision. Jurors can ask the judge questions and request information, but they are not permitted to undertake any investigations of their own in relation to the case.

7

Role of the jury: reasons for the decision

When a jury has reached a decision, the foreperson will state ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ in a criminal trial, or find for the plaintiff or the defendant in a civil trial. The jury does not have to give a reason for its decision.

This gives the jury the flexibility to make its decision for reasons other than following the appropriate points of law. The jury is able to decide on matters according to their conscience.

8

What are they advantages of a jury giving reasons for its decision?

. Jurors would be more likely to follow the law if they had to give a reason for their decision.
. The parties would know whether the law was followed.
. The accused could feel more confident in the result and would know whether the reasons were reasonable.
. Juries may be less likely to discriminate against the accused on inappropriate grounds.

9

What are they disadvantages of a jury giving reasons for its decision?

. Juries would have to make decisions that strictly followed the law rather than be free to make decisions in line with community thinking.
. It would be difficult to come up with just one reason for the decision among the whole jury, so it could be more likely that the jurors would not reach a decision (a hung jury), making a retrial necessary.
. It could result in more appeals because the reasons given may seem unreasonable.

10

Outline the role of the jury in a criminal case.

In a criminal trial, the jury will endeavour to find the accused either guilty or not guilty of the crime with which he or she has been charged, or guilty of a lesser crime.

The decision by the jury must be beyond reasonable doubt; that is, the jurors must feel as sure as reasonably possible (seeing as they were not at the scene of the crime at the time the crime was committed).

If they cannot be sure of the guilt of the accused, they must reach a decision of not guilty.

11

Explain verdicts in criminal cases.

The jury must first try to reach a unanimous verdict, but if this is not possible after six hours, a majority verdict (11 out of 12 jurors) can be accepted as the verdict of all the jury except in cases of murder, treason, trafficking or cultivating commercial quantities of drugs or narcotic plants, or Commonwealth offences.

If there are only 11 jurors left, a majority verdict would be 10 out of 11, or 9 out of 10 if only 10 jurors are left.

If a jury is unable to reach either a unanimous or majority verdict, then it cannot reach a decision and is said to be a hung jury. A new trial, with a new jury, will usually be conducted after a hung jury verdict.

12

When are juries used in criminal cases?

Juries are used in cases involving indictable offences (not heard in the Magistrates’ Court). All criminal trials heard in the County Court and Supreme Court, in their original jurisdiction, are heard before a judge and jury of 12, or more for long trials.

If, however, the accused is pleading guilty, there is no need to empanel a jury.

13

What are the judges directions to the jury in criminal cases?

The judge has the task of summing up the evidence that has been presented to a jury in a way that helps the jury to understand the various elements of the trial and assists them in their task of finding the accused guilty or not guilty, without showing any preference for the prosecution or the accused.

14

Outline the role of the jury in a civil case.

In a civil trial, the jury must make a decision on the balance of probabilities; that is, which party is most probably in the right and which party is most probably in the wrong.

15

Explain verdicts in civil cases.

In a civil trial, the jury will find for either the plaintiff or the defendant. If the judge or jury find in favour of the defendant, it means that the plaintiff was not able to prove their case on the balance of probabilities.

The decision can be a majority decision (five out of six) if they are unable to reach a unanimous decision after at least three hours of deliberation.

In addition to the general role of the jury, the jury also has to decide on the amount of damages to be paid to the plaintiff if the plaintiff is successful and damages are sought.

16

When are juries used in civil cases?

Juries are optional in civil cases. Either party to a civil dispute that is heard in the County Court or Supreme Court can request a jury. However, the party requesting the jury will bear the ultimate cost of a jury trial. The court has the discretion to refuse to allow a trial by jury in complex cases.

17

What are the number of factors that influence the composition of juries?

These occur during the jury selection and empanelment stage, and include:
. the random selection of potential jurors
. liability of jurors
. and jurors being challenged by the parties in a case.

18

Explain the following factor that influences the composition of juries: random selection of jurors

People are randomly selected for jury duty from the electoral rolls. If a person is a registered voter, he or she may be called for jury duty. The Juries Commissioner notifies the Electoral Commissioner of the number of people estimated to be required for jury service for any particular jury district.

In Victoria, jury districts are the same as the electoral districts or subdivisions for the Victorian Legislative Assembly. The Electoral Commissioner randomly selects the required number of people from the electoral rolls. The list of prospective jurors is sent to the Juries Commissioner.

19

Who is eligible for jury service?

Those who are over the age of 18, Australian citizens and are registered on the electoral roll.

20

Who is responsible for selection of prospective jurors?

The juries commissioner contacts the chief electoral officer and asks for names to be randomly selected from the electoral roll. These names are then given to the juries commissioner.

21

What is the questionnaire and who sends it?

The Juries Commissioner sends a questionnaire to each person on the list. The questionnaire is designed to ascertain whether the person is qualified to serve on a jury or if there is any reason why they cannot serve.

It is an offence not to answer the questionnaire and return it to the sheriff within seven days. The fine is 30 penalty units. It is also an offence to give any false information. After checking each questionnaire, the Juries Commissioner will decide whether the person is liable for jury service.

22

Explain the following factor that influences the composition of juries: liability of jurors

The Juries Act 2000 (Vic.) lays down the requirements for the composition and empanelling of juries. Every person aged 18 and above who is enrolled as an elector for the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council is qualified and liable to serve as a juror, except for:
• any person referred to in schedule 1 as being disqualified from serving as a juror
• any person referred to in schedule 2 as being ineligible to serve as a juror
• any person that the Juries Commissioner has excused for good reason from serving as a juror.

If eligible, prospective jurors will be sent a jury summons, which requires them to attend court for jury service at a later date. All people who attend jury service, whether they are selected to sit on a jury or not, are paid for their days in attendance. An employer is required to pay a juror his or her normal wage less the amount the person receives for jury service.

23

How is a person disqualified from serving as a juror?

Some people are disqualified from jury service because of something they did in the past that makes them unsuitable.

Eg. people who have been convicted of an indictable offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than three years or who are bankrupt are disqualified because they may be seen as unreliable or may be biased towards the accused.

24

How is a person Ineligible to be a juror?

Someone may be ineligible because of their occupation or their inability to comprehend the task of a juror.
Eg. people who are employed in law enforcement or the provision of legal services in criminal cases

People who are unable to comprehend the task or carry out the duties of being on a jury are also ineligible because they would not be able to make an appropriate decision on the facts before them.
Eg. people who cannot read or understand English, or a person who has a physical disability

25

How is a person excused for a good reason for serving as a juror?

A person may apply to the Juries Commissioner to be excused from jury service for the whole or any part of the jury service period. The Juries Commissioner will excuse the person if satisfied that there is a good reason for doing so. Good reasons include:
. illness or poor health
. the distance to travel to the place at which the person would be required to attend
. substantial hardship to the person would result from the person attending for jury service
. substantial financial hardship to the prospective juror would result from the person attending for jury service
. substantial inconvenience to the public would result from the person attending for jury service
. the person has the care of dependants and alternative care during the person’s attendance for jury
service is not reasonably available for those dependants
. any other matter of special urgency or importance.

26

What happens if a person is eligible to become a juror?

If eligible, prospective jurors will be sent a jury summons, which requires them to attend court for jury service at a later date. All people who attend jury service, whether they are selected to sit on a jury or not, are paid for their days in attendance. An employer is required to pay a juror his or her normal wage less the amount the person receives for jury service.

27

What happens if you are summoned to attend jury service, but don't?

If a person is deemed to be liable for jury service, it is an offence not to attend when called; this is punishable by a fine of 30 penalty units or imprisonment for three months.

28

What is the jury pool?

The Juries Commissioner will have a pool of jurors for the Supreme Court or County Court from which jurors can be drawn at any time.

Jurors who have received a summons to attend jury duty, and have been selected, must present themselves at the court building. They will become part of the jury pool for one or two days. In the jury pool room, the pool supervisors will determine each prospective juror’s identity and inquire as to their availability for particular lengths of trials.

29

Explain the empaneling of the jury.

When a case requires a jury, a jury pool supervisor will randomly choose a number of prospective jurors to go to a particular courtroom to form a jury panel and undergo the empanelling process. If jurors are empanelled as jurors for a trial, the number of days they will be needed will depend on the length of the trial.

30

Why aren't all prospective jurors selected for a jury?

Because of challenges.

If a juror is not selected, he or she returns to the jury pool until another trial requires a jury and the process is then repeated.

31

What is each juror selected to sit on a jury given?

Each juror selected to sit on a jury is given a Juror’s Handbook. This gives the jurors information about what is expected of them as members of a jury, such as listening to the evidence and being impartial, and how to assess the evidence in a case.

Jurors are also told what they must not do, such as performing their own investigation or visiting the scene of the alleged crime.

32

The panels of jurors selected for a trial is informed about the case to be tried. What are they told?

. the type of action or charge
. the name of the accused in a criminal trial or the names of the parties in a civil trial
. the names of the principal witnesses expected to be called in the trial
. the estimated length of the trial
. any other information that the court thinks relevant.

33

Why might the court exclude a person from being in a jury for a particular case?

The court may excuse a person from being in the jury for a particular case, if the court is satisfied that the person will be unable to consider the case impartially (for example, they may know one of the parties or witnesses), or is unable to serve for any other reason, such as the likely length of the case.

34

What are challenges?

Mklmkkmii

35

What are the types of challenges?

. Challenges for cause
. Peremptory challenges

36

What are challenges for cause?

A juror may be challenged for a reason (known as a challenge for cause), such as knowing the accused. There are unlimited challenges for cause.

37

What are peremptory challenges?

A juror may be challenged without a reason (known as a peremptory challenge). Challenges without a reason are usually based on an assumption that the juror might not be favourably disposed to the challenger. This assumption might be based on appearance, age or occupation, if given.

38

Explain the selecting of jurors for a criminal case?

. The name or number of each prospective juror is called out.
. The accused (or their legal counsel) may challenge a juror or the prosecution may request that a juror stand aside.
. Jurors who have been asked to stand aside must wait until the end of the challenging process.
. If there are no more jurors left in the jury pool, the jurors who have been asked to stand aside can be called on again to take their place in the jury.
. Once 12 jurors have been selected, they take an oath to exercise their duties in a proper manner and they elect a foreperson (spokesperson for the jury).
. The jurors are expected to attend the jury for the duration of the trial.

39

Explain the use of challenges in a criminal case?

Peremptory challenges for the accused - Each person who is accused of a crime and is being tried is allowed six peremptory challenges. However, this changes according to the number of accused in one trial.

Prosecution stand aside jurors -The prosecution is allowed to stand aside six jurors if there is one accused. Again, this changes if there is more than one accused. The requirement to stand aside must be made as the potential juror comes to take his or her seat and before he or she sits down.

Challenges for cause in a criminal trial - The accused and the prosecution have the right to unlimited challenges for cause, on the approval of the judge.

40

Explain the selecting of jurors for civil cases.

The names or numbers of the prospective jurors are put on a list. Six jurors are chosen for the jury (eight if it is anticipated that it will be a long trial).

The plaintiff and the defendant or their representatives have the opportunity to cross off those names that they wish to challenge. They can make peremptory challenges or challenges for cause. Those names that remain on the list form the jury.

41

Explain the use of challenges in a civil case.

Peremptory challenges - The plaintiff and the defendant are entitled to three peremptory challenges each. A peremptory challenge in a civil trial is made by striking the name or number of the potential juror from the list of persons selected.

Challenges for cause - There can be an unlimited number of challenges for cause. The judge makes the decision on whether to allow any challenges for cause.

42

What is the role of the foreperson?

Once a jury is empanelled, the jurors elect a foreperson to act as their spokesperson. The foreperson will:
. chair the deliberations and ensure that each juror has an opportunity to have their say
. ask the judge questions and
. deliver the verdict.

During the jury’s deliberations, the foreperson is responsible for the conduct of the deliberations, although his or her vote does not carry any extra weight, and he or she should not try to influence the other jurors in any way.

43

Jury documents.

At any time during the trial, the judge may order that the jury be given documents to help them understand the issues or the evidence. These documents include:
• the indictment
• the summary of the prosecution opening
• the response of the accused
• any documents admitted as evidence
• any statement of facts
• opening and closing addresses of the prosecution and the accused
• any address of the trial judge to the jury
• any schedules, charts, diagrams or other explanatory material
• transcripts of evidence
• the trial judge’s directions to the jury
• any other document that the trial judge considers appropriate.

44

Jury system - what happens at the end of a trial?

At the end of the trial, the jury members are given a certificate of attendance to present to employers, and those who have served on long trials may also receive an exemption certificate from further jury service.

45

Jury system - disclosure of information.

In Victoria, it is illegal for jury members to talk about how the jury came to its decision.

A person must not publish the names of any of the members of a jury. Members of the jury are prohibited from publishing any statements made, opinions expressed, arguments advanced or votes cast in the course of the deliberations of the jury.

However, after a cases general information can be disclosed - as long as no names are disclosed.

46

What are the strengths of the jury system?

. comprises a cross section of people*
. involves the general community*
. spreads the responsibility *
. reflects community values
. safeguards against misuse of power
. ensures less legal jargon*
. tends to make the right decisions
. helps to protect democracy

* = ones I've decided to remember

47

Explain the following strength of the jury system: comprises a cross section of the community

A trial by jury represents trial by one’s peers. A jury
is made up of average men and women who are not selected as people in a position of authority but are, as far as possible, a cross-section of the community.

An accused person can therefore feel confident that they are not being oppressed by authority but are being tried by people like themselves from within society. A jury is able to assess the situation before it, not in legalistic terms, but according to the current standards of the general community.

48

Explain the following strength of the jury system: involves the general community

A person who serves on a jury is able to participate in the legal system and see the legal system in operation. This can help members of society improve their knowledge of how the legal system works which in turn makes those participating more confident in the legal system.

49

Explain the following strength of the jury system: spreads the responsibility

The use of a jury allows the decision-making to be spread over more shoulders, rather than being placed solely in the hands of a judge. For example, if 12 people decide that a person is guilty, this decision is more likely to be correct than a decision made by one person. People are therefore more likely to feel confident in the decision made.

50

Explain the following strength of the jury system: ensures less legal jargon

The presence of the jury should ensure that evidence is given in a clear and non-technical way, with legal jargon kept to a minimum.

The legal personnel have to explain legal concepts to the jury throughout the trial. This enables the parties to the case to have a better understanding of what is going on within the court.

51

What are the weaknesses of the jury system?

. Not a true cross-section of the community*
. Difficult task
. Complicated evidence
. Deliberations behind closed doors
. Concentration for long periods
. Unfamiliarity with legal procedure*
. Difficulty of reaching a decision*
. Counsel could influence a jury*

52

Explain the following weakness of the jury system: not a true cross-section of the community

Trial by peers means that the jury should be a cross-section of society, representative of the community, impartial and independent. Even with the random selection process, it is unlikely that a jury will fully represent a cross-section of the community because communities comprise interest groups with very different needs.

A jury is also not a true cross-section of society because some members of the community are ineligible, disqualified or excused, and because each side has a right to challenge jurors to try to achieve a jury that they think may favour their side. The decision of the jury may not, therefore, reflect community values.

53

Explain the following weakness of the jury system: unfamiliarity with legal procedure (adv - involves generals community)

The jury is made up of average people, most of whom would have little knowledge or experience of courtroom procedure, and they may feel quite confused and overwhelmed by the courtroom formalities.

54

Explain the following weakness of the jury system: difficulty of reaching a decision (adv - spreads the responsibility)

A jury often consists of people who come from different backgrounds and have different values.

It is therefore difficult for 12 jurors in a criminal trial (or six in a civil trial) to reach a unanimous decision about the facts of a case.

When a unanimous verdict is required (as in a murder case) it is only necessary for one person to disagree with the others for a hung jury.

55

Explain the following weakness of the jury system: counsel could influence a jury (adv - less legal jargon)

In the adversary system, both sides are endeavouring to win the case. Every barrister will try to influence the jury to find in favour of their client – the more experienced barrister will do so more successfully. As a result, jurors could be influenced by emotional elements of the trial or an eloquent and powerful closing speech made by a barrister, rather than the logic of the case put by both sides.

56

What are some reforms to the jury system?

. Extra jurors (T and F)
. Majority verdicts (T)

57

Explain the the following reform to the jury system: Extra Jurors

Civil juries in the Supreme Court and the County Court are allowed two extra jurors in case someone becomes ill or needs to be excused for another reason during the trial. Criminal juries are allowed three extra jurors. This helps to ensure that the accused will have their case decided by the full number of jurors (F). It also helps to prevent mistrials (T).

58

Explain the the following reform to the jury system: Majority Verdicts

Majority verdicts have been introduced in criminal cases (except cases of murder, treason, trafficking or cultivating commercial quantities of drugs or narcotic plants, or Commonwealth offences). If a unanimous verdict cannot be reached after six hours in a criminal trial, a majority verdict will be accepted as a verdict of all the jury. This speeds up the process of reaching a verdict and it is more likely that a verdict can be reached (T).

59

What are some suggested reforms to the jury system?

. Have a specialist foreperson (F and T) - could inform the jury on the relevant law and court procedure, which could assist them in reaching the right decision. However, their opinion could carry too much weight.

. Require juries to give reasons for their decisions (F) - the accused in a criminal trial would know why they had been found guilty and the parties in a civil case would know why the jury had decided the way it did. The parties would also know whether due attention had been given to points of law. This would be more satisfying for the parties but could lead to more appeals, especially if it was thought that the jury had not followed the law as explained by the judge.

. Reduce the size of the jury (T) - it may be easier to reach a decision among the group and deliberations may be shorter. However, having fewer people to convince may mean that the likelihood of a correct result is reduced.

60

What are some possibly alternatives to trial by jury?

. Judge alone or a panel of three judges
. Professional jurors
. Specialist jurors

61

Explain the following possible alternative to trial by jury: a judge alone or a panel of three judges

A judge would be able to make a decision based on the law with a thorough understanding of the law. A judge would also understand legal procedures and processes. The decision might therefore be more likely to be right. A panel of three judges could discuss the salient issues and spread the decision between them.

But a decision based on the law alone might not take into account the feelings and attitudes of ordinary people. A verdict going against the law, but in line with current community standards, would be far less likely; for example, an acquittal in a ‘mercy killing’ trial.

A judge might also have formed biases against certain types of people or cases, which could colour his or her judgment. A decision by a judge alone or a panel of three judges would be a disadvantage in that judges are employed by the Crown and the parties might feel more confident in a decision made by their peers. If there were three judges, this would be very expensive for the legal system.

62

Explain the following possible alternative to trial by jury: professional jurors

A professional jury employed by the state would have a better understanding of court procedure and legal processes. They could also develop expertise in certain kinds of cases.

They might, however, make decisions based on biases resulting from the many cases they had seen previously instead of seeing a case fresh for the first time. As employees of the state, they would lose the advantages of being an independent body.

63

Explain the following possible alternative to trial by jury: specialist jurors

A specialist jury could be a jury made up of, for example, medical experts in a case involving complicated medical evidence, or accountants in a case of fraud. One of the disadvantages of the jury system is that the jury may not understand complicated evidence put before it. A specialist jury would not have this problem.

However, there could be biases against people in the same profession who have allegedly done something wrong.

64

What are the processes and procedures that contribute to a fair an unbiased hearing in the jury system?

For a fair and unbiased hearing to be achieved it is essential that the jury remain an independent and impartial decider of fact. This can be achieved by:
• the random nature of jury selection, which promotes the ideal of the jury being made up of a cross-section of the community
• removing potentially biased jurors at the jury selection stage; some people are ineligible or disqualified from serving on juries due to their experiences with the legal system
• removing any juror who knows either party to a case or any of the witnesses – they should ask to be excused from that trial, to remove the potential for bias
• both sides of the case being able to challenge jurors they believe would be prejudicial to the case
• the jury acting as a buffer between the state and the individual; the state prosecuting the accused and the jury reaching the verdict, ensuring a fair and unbiased hearing
• the guilt of the accused being determined by a majority verdict (or unanimous verdict for some offences such as murder) of a jury with no former knowledge of the accused and that holds no preconceived ideas about the accused.

65

What are the problems and difficulties that may hinder a fair and unbiased hearing in the jury system?

A fair and unbiased hearing may be hindered in a jury trial because:
• juries are not necessarily made up of a cross-section of the community
• some people are unlikely to be tried by their peers – for example, few Indigenous people are chosen for jury service, which could result in an Indigenous accused having their case heard before an all-white jury
• a juror may find it difficult to set aside a bias that they hold against particular groups in the community, such as racial biases
• the jury could be influenced by things they may have read or heard in the media before a case begins, and have difficulty setting this aside
• jurors may have difficulty in understanding the complicated nature of a trial and any complex evidence in a case, which could mean that the accused is not given a fair hearing on the evidence
• courtroom dramas made in the US can confuse jurors in that they may believe some of the terms used on television are applicable in Australian courts; although they can help jurors get a better
understanding of court procedures.

66

What are the recent changes which contribute to a fair and unbiased hearing in the jury system?

Juries Directions Act 2015 - This act makes a range of amendments aimed at simplifying and clarifying the law on jury direction. The purpose of the act includes:
. To reduce the complexity of jury directions in criminal cases
. To simplify and clarify that issues that juries must determine in criminal trials
. To simplify and clarify the duties of the judge in giving jury directions in criminal trials
. To provide for simplified directions in relation to specific issues.

67

What are the recommendations for change to contribute to a fair and unbiased hearing in the jury system?

Introduce a ‘public defenders’ scheme – Public defenders are barristers employed by the state to provide legal services to people charged with serious criminal offences who have been granted legal aid. They are the defence equivalent of Crown prosecutors who are barristers employed by the state to act for the prosecution in criminal cases.

68

What are the processes and procedures that contribute to effective access to the legal system in the jury system?

A jury provides the general public with a chance to be involved in legal processes, giving them a greater knowledge and understanding of the operation of the courts. This enhances the opportunity for effective access to the legal system. The jury system also gives people confidence that their case will be heard by their peers, who are more likely to have an understanding of their predicament.

69

What are the problems and difficulties that may hinder the effective access to the legal system in the jury system?

The use of a jury in a civil trial is optional and, if used, the party requesting the jury must bear the cost. This can be an expensive process, and is in addition to all the other fees and costs associated with pursuing a case. These high costs would preclude some parties from using a jury in their civil trial, denying them access to this mechanism.

70

What are the processes and procedures that contribute to the timely resolution of disputes in the jury system?

The speedy completion of a case frees up the courts for other cases and gives a verdict as quickly as possible to the accused and the victim or relatives of the victim, or the parties in a civil case. However, the courts must ensure that the accused has been given a fair trial and the jury is able to reach the right decision.

71

What are the problems and difficulties that may hinder the timely resolution of disputes to the legal system in the jury system?

The use of juries adds to the time taken for a trial for a number of reasons:
• The empanelment process can often take hours or even days for long trials.
• During the course of the trial, proceedings may need to be halted and jurors removed from the courtroom while legal counsel argues a point of law.
• The filing in and out of the courtroom and the jury room can add to delays in the trial.
• The trial itself can often take longer because the legal counsel are at pains to explain concepts to the jury so that members of the jury can understand the evidence given.
• Jury deliberations may take some time.

72

What are the recent changes which contribute to timely resolution of disputes in the jury system?

Juries Directions Act 2015 - This act makes a range of amendments aimed at simplifying and clarifying the law on jury direction. The purpose of the act includes:
. To reduce the complexity of jury directions in criminal cases
. To simplify and clarify that issues that juries must determine in criminal trials
. To simplify and clarify the duties of the judge in giving jury directions in criminal trials
. To provide for simplified directions in relation to specific issues.

73

What are the recommendations for change to contribute to timely resolution of disputes in the jury system?

Remove juries from long and complex criminal trials – This suggestion is aimed at speeding up trials, long complex cases would be quicker if heard by a judge alone.