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Chapter

Cover English Legal System

13. The jury  

A jury consists of twelve, randomly-selected members of the public, who decide guilt or innocence in the most serious criminal trials in the Crown Court. This chapter explains the rules on eligibility for, and disqualification or excusal from jury service. It considers the power of the jury to acquit in defiance of the evidence (‘jury equity’), the confidentiality of jury deliberations and the implications of that for appeals, the ethnic composition of a jury, whether juries should be excluded from certain trials such as those involving serious fraud or where there is evidence of jury ‘tampering’, whether the accused should be able to ‘waive’ their right to jury trial, and the impact of social media on jury trials. It concludes by examining the relative advantages and disadvantages of jury trials.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

10. Visual and voice identification  

This chapter considers the risk of mistaken identification, and the law and procedure relating to evidence of visual and voice identification. In respect of evidence of visual identification, the chapter addresses: the Turnbull guidelines, including when a judge should stop a case and the direction to be given to the jury; visual recognition, including recognition by the jury themselves from a film, photograph, or other image; evidence of analysis of films, photographs, or other images; pre-trial procedure, including procedure relating to recognition by a witness from viewing films, photographs, either formally or informally; and admissibility where there have been breaches of pre-trial procedure. In respect of evidence of voice identification, the chapter addresses: pre-trial procedure; voice comparison by the jury with the assistance of experts or lay listeners; and the warning to be given to the jury (essentially an adaption of the Turnbull warning, but with particular focus on the factors which might affect the reliability of voice identification).

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

16. Adverse inferences from an accused’s silence or conduct  

This chapter discusses the adverse inferences that may be drawn against an accused from: his failure to testify; his failure, when questioned or charged, to mention facts which he could reasonably have been expected to have mentioned at that time and which he later relies on in his defence at trial; his failure or refusal, on arrest, to account for any object, substance, or mark that the police reasonably believe may be attributable to his participation in the commission of an offence; his refusal to consent to the taking of an intimate sample, such as a sample of blood, semen, or urine; and his failure to provide advance disclosure of the defence case, the nature of his defence, or the facts on which he takes issue with the prosecution.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

20. Experts and opinion evidence  

This chapter discusses the law on experts and opinion evidence. As a general rule, opinion evidence is inadmissible: a witness may only speak of facts that he personally perceived, not of inferences drawn from those facts. However, there are two exceptions to this general rule: (i) an appropriately qualified expert may state his opinion on a matter calling for the expertise that he possesses; and (ii) a non-expert witness may state his opinion on a matter not calling for any particular expertise as a way of conveying the facts that he personally perceived. Experts may also give evidence of fact based on their expertise. The chapter covers the duties of experts and the rules which apply where parties propose to call expert evidence.

Chapter

Cover Evidence

1. Relevance and admissibility of evidence  

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. The law of evidence regulates what evidence may be admitted at trial and under what conditions such admissible proofs are to be admitted. This chapter discusses the following: the respective functions of judge and jury; the concept of relevance; the so-called ‘best evidence principle’; matters of which proof is unnecessary; judicial findings as evidence; prejudicial evidence, unfairly obtained evidence, and suspect witnesses; and evidence excluded as a matter of public policy—notably, intercepted communications under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.

Chapter

Cover Cross & Tapper on Evidence

IV. The functions of the judge and jury  

This chapter discusses the basic functions of judge and jury. It begins with the general rule of separation of functions of judge and jury, before turning to some of the more direct methods of judicial control. The chapter also considers the extent to which the average jury understands the directions that the law requires the judge to give, and whether jurors are as imperceptive, ignorant, or prejudiced as some of the rules of evidence suppose. Secret monitoring of jury deliberations is one way of resolving these issues, but such monitoring would amount to contempt of court. Moreover, any discussion with a third party before verdict is liable to result in a conviction being quashed. Recourse must, at present, be had to simulations and generally less reliable methods of obtaining the information needed to provide a basis for understanding and improving the law of evidence.

Chapter

Cover Sanders & Young's Criminal Justice

9. Trial by judge and jury  

This chapter discusses how cases are processed in the Crown courts and trial by jury. It discusses the role and powers of the judge in relation to the management of cases, trial process and outcomes. It also discusses the jury system and how jury composition affects perceptions of the fairness and legitimacy of jury trial. Research about the impact of jury composition and juror attitudes on verdicts is discussed. The chapter goes on to consider whether key evidential rules unduly favour the defence or prosecution and attempts to further erode the practical significance of jury trial through the use of judge-only trials.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

19. Evidence of character: evidence of bad character in criminal cases  

This chapter begins with an introduction to the statutory framework governing the admissibility of bad character evidence. It goes on to consider the statutory definition of ‘bad character’ and to discuss the admissibility of evidence of bad character in criminal cases under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, namely: the admissibility of the bad character of a person other than the defendant and the requirement of leave; the admissibility of evidence of the bad character of the defendant under various statutory ‘gateways’, including the gateway by which evidence may be admitted if it is relevant to an important matter in issue between the defendant and the prosecution; and safeguards including the discretion to exclude evidence of bad character and the judge’s power to stop a case where the evidence is contaminated. Procedural rules are also considered, as is the defendant’s right to challenge evidence of bad character.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

2. Preliminaries  

This chapter discusses the following: (i) facts that are open to proof or disproof in English courts of law: facts in issue, relevant facts, and collateral facts; (ii) the varieties of evidence: testimony, hearsay evidence, documentary evidence, real evidence, circumstantial evidence (including motive, plans and preparatory acts, capacity, opportunity, identity, continuance, failure to give evidence or call witnesses, failure to provide samples, lies and standards of comparison), and conclusive evidence; (iii) the concepts of relevance and admissibility; (iv) the weight of evidence; (v) the functions of the judge and jury; (vi) judicial discretion to admit or exclude evidence.

Chapter

Cover The English Legal System

14. Those in Court  

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter focuses on the people who are present during criminal trials. It considers those in summary trials in magistrates’ court (magistrates, justices’ clerks/legal advisors, lawyers, and the defendant). It also considers those who are present in the Crown Court during a trial on indictment (the judge, the jury, lawyers, court clerks, the stenographer, the usher, and the defendant). The chapter also explores how lawyers for the defence are funded under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

Chapter

Cover The English Legal System

15. The Trials  

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter examines the trial process and identifies the differences between summary trials and trials on indictment. It details who is in court, what their role should be, and how they reach their various decisions. The discussions cover the prosecution case, the defence case, closing speeches, judicial summing up, reaching the verdict, and youth trials.

Chapter

Cover English Legal System Concentrate

6. Personnel of the English Legal System  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. This chapter looks at the multitude of different professionals, both legal and lay, in the English legal system (ELS). Legal professionals, often referred to as ‘lawyers’, includes such individuals as solicitors, barristers, legal executives, and paralegals. Barristers and solicitors were traditionally two very distinct roles in the ELS. Nowadays, a fusion of roles has occurred, meaning that the two professions are not as different as they formerly were. Meanwhile, judiciary refers to the various judicial ‘offices’ and ‘office-holders’. Law officers are the individuals responsible for the operation of the ELS and include such persons as the Attorney General and the Solicitor General. Court staff are the individuals involved in the day-to-day running of the ELS and include such persons as clerks, ushers, legal advisers, and many other persons. Finally, laypersons refer to a special class of individuals—namely magistrates and juries responsible for trying cases in the Crown Court and magistrates’ court respectively.

Chapter

Cover The English Legal System

14. Those in Court  

This chapter focuses on the people who are present during criminal trials. It considers those in summary trials in magistrates’ court (magistrates, justices’ clerks/legal advisors, lawyers, and the defendant). It also considers those who are present in the Crown Court during a trial on indictment (the judge, the jury, lawyers, court clerks, the stenographer, the usher, and the defendant). The chapter then explores how lawyers for the defence are funded under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

Chapter

Cover The English Legal System

15. The Trials  

This chapter examines the trial process and identifies the differences between summary trials and trials on indictment. It details who is in court, what their role should be, and how they reach their various decisions. The discussions cover the prosecution case, the defence case, closing speeches, judicial summing-up, reaching a verdict, and youth trials.

Chapter

Cover Legal Systems & Skills

3. The court system of England & Wales  

Scott Slorach, Judith Embley, Peter Goodchild, and Catherine Shephard

This chapter outlines the courts and tribunals system of England & Wales, first explaining key themes and concepts that are essential for understanding the structure and mechanics of English courts and tribunals. It then discusses the criminal courts and civil courts of England and Wales; it then focusses on other courts and forums that have significance in the English legal system, but which are not part of the English court system. The most significant of these are the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice, and alternatives to litigation (alternative dispute resolution, arbitration, Ombudsmen, and negotiation).

Chapter

Cover The Criminal Process

11. The trial  

This chapter focuses on the criminal trial itself which is the focal point of criminal procedure. The rules governing trials therefore shape the decisions made by the police and prosecutors. The trial remains important because defendants’ decisions on whether or not to plead guilty are often informed by what they believe to be the probability of conviction. The chapter considers the courtroom processes and raises questions about the roles of judge and jury. The chapter also discusses the modes of trial; the Crown Court trial; and confrontation and the protection of witnesses all of which are closely connected to issues of procedural fairness.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law Directions

14. Elements of defamation  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams, and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. Defamation differs from other aspects of tort law because it is concerned with protecting against harm caused by words. The law of defamation is intended to provide compensation for people whose reputations have been damaged by untrue statements and it may allow one to obtain an interim injunction to stop a potentially defamatory statement from being published. This chapter discusses the human rights dimension in defamation and the procedural and substantive changes to defamation law introduced by the Defamation Act 2013. It also explores how to strike a balance between the competing rights of freedom of expression and protection of reputation.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law

1. Criminal law in context  

Michael J. Allen and Ian Edwards

Course-focused and contextual, Criminal Law provides a succinct overview of the key areas on the law curriculum balanced with thought-provoking contextual discussion. This introductory chapter answers the following questions: What is a crime? What purpose or function does the criminal law serve? What reasons are there for the criminalisation of some types of conduct? What are the purposes of punishment? What are the political and social contexts in which criminal law operates? The chapter provides an overview of key aspects of the criminal process, including mode of trial, the decision to prosecute, the burden and standard of proof, the functions of judge and jury, and sentencing. It also examines briefly the impact of the European Convention on Human Rights on English law.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law

11. Sexual offences  

Michael J. Allen and Ian Edwards

Course-focused and contextual, Criminal Law provides a succinct overview of the key areas on the law curriculum balanced with thought-provoking contextual discussion. This chapter discusses the main sexual offences including rape, assault by penetration, sexual assault, causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, offences against children, familial sex offences, offences against persons with a mental disorder, and preparatory offences. The chapter situates the offence of rape in particular in the context of broader discussions about consent and trial by jury. Two of ‘The law in context’ features examine the prevalence of ‘rape myths’ that may affect how jurors decide whether a man has committed rape and the procedural issues that affect the success of rape prosecutions.

Chapter

Cover Evidence

1. Introduction  

Chapter 1 examines a number of basic concepts and distinctions in the law of evidence. It covers facts in issue and collateral facts; relevance, admissibility, and weight; direct evidence and circumstantial evidence; testimonial evidence and real evidence; the allocation of responsibility; exclusionary rules and exclusionary discretions; free(r) proof; issues in criminal evidence; civil evidence and criminal evidence; the implications of trial by jury; summary trials; law reform; and the implications of the Human Rights Act 1998. This chapter also presents an overview of the subsequent chapters.