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The Forum > General Discussion > Should trial by jury in Australia be abolished ?

Should trial by jury in Australia be abolished ?

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Greetings everyone. Ever since this is my first post , i'll do a little introduction. I'm currently a student studying in Taylors College Subang Jaya in Malaysia completing the South Australian Matriculation Programme (equivalent to SA Year 12).

As following the topic of discussion , i'm currently doing a research regarding the Australian jury system and whether it is still relevant or needs to be abolished. From what i've gathered through law journals and news articles , there are its pros and cons to trial by jury .

Therefore , i'd like to gather your opinions regarding the jury system and whether it should be abolished or not.
Posted by legiteam_obstruxxion, Friday, 15 June 2007 12:06:09 AM
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i feel the taylor's college students should have a whip-round, and post me the collection.

the classical athenians were vastly more sophisticated about politics than modern people- they practiced it personally, often, and for keeps. they would laugh at the notion of a judge, for they were not ruled by monarchs, as we are. instead, they had professional clerks to organize trials but left decisions in the hands of citizens. in practice, large juries, voted to condemn or acquit, for A or for B in civil suits. a large jury would, they thought, replicate the view of justice held by the citizens of the state.

just as important, a large jury empaneled on the day of trial, could not be bribed. judges, by contrast, can be bribed, threatened, or turn up drunk, sleepy, crazy, or simply unconcerned with justice.

the internet makes citizen involvement in justice easy, judges obsolete. juries should number in the hundred's.
Posted by DEMOS, Friday, 15 June 2007 12:07:03 PM
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I agree. Rather than throw out the jury, we should throwout the judges, they appear to have little in common with the rest of us.
The jury could then set a sentence with which we may agree, for a change.
Posted by Hasbeen, Friday, 15 June 2007 3:49:53 PM
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Greetings legiteam_obstruxxion

Very interesting DEMOS. Iím inclined to agree.

But it is essential that all members of the jury be tuned into the whole trial process. They also need to be interested in it. That is, not compelled to do something that they really donít want to do.

One problem with larger juries would be that the onus on each individual is less. The danger there is that some people will be more likely to make decisions based on emotions rather than the facts, or less likely to concentrate on all the facts if they have preconceived notions. If they feel that they are only having a very small part to play in the outcome, then many will feel that the responsibility on them is much less.

I certainly disagree that a single judge should preside over decisions of guilt or innocence in anything other than very minor cases. But large juries numbering in the hundreds would be impractical to organise. So the best balance appears to be a small jury.

Or what about professional juries? A number of people, considerably larger than current Australian juries, paid a decent wage to do the job?
Posted by Ludwig, Friday, 15 June 2007 3:52:45 PM
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as a matter of fact ludwig, athenian juries were paid, and many old men turned up early every day, hoping to get that day's pay. this somewhat skewed jury opinion toward 'old but poor' attitudes. and male of course, but that's a different matter from a golden age for men.

large juries would be easy in an internet age, and it would be a good idea to give citizens a course in basic principles of law. you could be a 'registered juror' and find 5 to 10 cases in your email each year. not enough to be a burden, and voluntary anyway.
Posted by DEMOS, Friday, 15 June 2007 6:51:25 PM
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Who is aware of the four step selection process for each juror provided for by our elected members of our State Parliaments ?
Only electors in the general area of the State where the trial is taking place can be selected for juries and not all citizens are eligible for selection, WHY ?
Are the numbers of jurors for civil matters the same as criminal trials ?
Can the statutory selection process be interfered with to remove anybody who is perceived to be a threat to the system of justic
Posted by Young Dan, Friday, 15 June 2007 8:51:42 PM
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