Legal Systems

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The idea of an "ancient right" to jury trial is an attractive argument, and the present-day English jury does indeed have roots that can be traced back several centuries. But the jury has continuously adapted and evolved, and its functions have changed fundamentally over the years.


On March 22, 2005 six men were acquitted from a fraud case costing 60 million. Considered to be one of Britain's longest and costliest fraud trials, it just collapsed after twenty-one months of court proceedings at London's Old Bailey.2
The jury's inability to come up with a fair verdict was pointed out to be the reason for such failure. There had been disruptions and problems with the selected jury and further allegations regarding an unfair trial rose. The verdict cause the public to not to remain in silence that caused unrest among the government. This situation led to the Attorney general to impose on the Criminal Act of 2003 regarding fraud trials that put the juries out of the scene. 4
There had been protests even when it was proposed by the Attorney General Lord Lord Goldsmith. However, the pressure to remove juries from the most difficult cases dates back to the Roskill committee on fraud trials, which recommended trial by a judge with expert lay assessors in 1986.5
The implementation of Part 7 of the Criminal Justice Act of 2003 seemed to be the most appropriate practice in complex fraud trials as what happened in the Jubilee line trial. The Government is no longer willing to lose millions of money spent on a single trial thus a trial without a jury is an alternative. ...
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