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Justice for all: erosion of the jury system?

Catherine Elliott considers the potential impact on
the jury system of the Government’s White Paper,
Justice for All

11 October 2002

In July 2002 the Government published its proposals to reform the criminal justice system in a White Paper called Justice for All (Cm 5563). This document contains the Government’s response to the recommendations made in Sir Robin Auld’s Review of the Criminal Courts of England and Wales and John Halliday’s report on the sentencing system. It contains a wide range of proposals, but a salient feature continues to be the Government’s attack on the jury system. The Government has rejected some of the key proposals of Sir Robin Auld which would have constituted major attacks on the jury system. It has not accepted the idea of creating an intermediate court presided over by a professional judge and two lay magistrates. Judges will not be required to put to the jury a series of questions which the jury would have had to answer publicly. Nor will there be any legislation to prevent juries from returning verdicts regarded as perverse. Despite this, many of the proposals put forward ...

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