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The Modern Scottish Jury in Criminal Trials: Analysis of Written Consultation Responses

DescriptionIndependent anaylsis of responses to the consultation The Modern Scottish Jury in a Criminal Trial
ISBN
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateJanuary 29, 2009

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Linda Nicholson, The Research Shop
ISBN 978 0 7559 1944 4 (Web only publication)
This document is also available in pdf format (424k)

Contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

CHAPTER 1: BACKGROUND TO THE CONSULTATION

CHAPTER 2: THE CONSULTATION PROCESS

CHAPTER 3: RESPONDENTS' VIEWS ON THE CONSULTATION PROCESS

CHAPTER 4: AGE LIMIT FOR JURY DUTY
Q1 Do you agree that persons aged 65 - 70 should no longer be debarred from jury service on grounds of age?
Summary of Key Points

CHAPTER 5: ELIGIBILITY AND EXCUSAL
Q2 What restrictions, if any, should there be on eligibility to serve on a jury; and
how should these restrictions be administered?
Q3& Should persons in any particular occupations routinely be excused jury service
Q4 in virtue of that occupation? If so, which occupations should enjoy this
concession?
Q5 If not, what should be the criteria for determining applications by individuals
for excusal from jury service?
Summary of Key Points

CHAPTER 6: EXEMPTION PERIODS
Q6 Do you agree with the proposal to reduce the period of entitlement to excusal as of right from 5 to 2 years for those individuals who, following citation, attend at court but are not selected by ballot to serve on a jury?
Q7 Do you agree that Section 84(4) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 be amended to allow for the pool of jurors to be selected from those either within the sheriff court district or the sheriffdom as a whole?
Summary of Key Points

CHAPTER 7: COMPENSATION FOR JURY SERVICE
Q8 What are the benefits and drawbacks of a system such as the one adopted in Ireland? Is such a system likely in your view to serve the interests of the
economy and of justice?
Q9 If a choice had to be made, between less compensation but earlier, or higher compensation but later, which do you think is more important?
Q10 Should those few jurors who serve on the very longest trials receive enhanced compensation for losses incurred?
Q11 Do you agree that the introduction of an adult dependant carer allowance would make a valuable addition to the suite of juror allowances? Are there any other allowances for regular expenses that you think should be considered?
Summary of Key Points

CHAPTER 8: JURY SIZE
Q12 Do you think the number of jurors in criminal trials in Scotland should be
reduced?
Q13 If it were reduced, to what number should it be reduced and what number of votes should be required to reach a verdict?
Q14 Should there be a minimum jury quorum required, below which a trial should be discontinued? If so, what should that number be and would it be affected by a
reduction in jury size?
Q15 If there is a quorum, what should be the effect of the number of jurors falling below that quorum? Are there any circumstances in which the court should allow such a trial to continue, and, if so, what? How can the court satisfy itself that the interests of justice are well served?
Summary of Key Points

CHAPTER 9: TRIAL WITHOUT A JURY
Q16 Do you agree that juries should continue to be used even in lengthy criminal trials, regardless of the type of crime?
Q17 If you do not agree, what alternatives do you propose? How would those alternatives reconcile the interests of justice with the practical considerations that we have outlined?
Q18 If you agree, should substitute jurors be considered and, if so, in what circumstances?
How many should there be and what model should they follow?
Q19 Are there any circumstances in which the court should allow a trial to continue despite the jury falling below the quorum? What are they? Should the exercise of such discretion be linked to trials of a particular length?
Q20 Moreover, how can the court satisfy itself that the interests of justice are well served?
Summary of Key Points

TABLES
Table 1: Volume of response to each consultation paper question
Table 2: Respondents by category

ANNEX 1: List of respondents to the consultation

ANNEX 2: Abbreviations used for category of respondent

The views expressed in this report are those of the researcher and
do not necessarily represent those of the Directorate or Scottish Ministers.