Are Juries Necessary? The Role of Juries in Defamation Trials
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
Precedent, No. 92, pp. 10-14, 2009
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/66
In the last decade in New South Wales, there have been a number of challenges to 'unreasonable' jury verdicts. As a consequence, the role of juries in defamation trials has recently been questioned in some quarters. This paper argues that juries themselves are not the problem. Given the centrality of the 'ordinary, reasonable reader' to defamation law, juries, embodying the 'ordinary, reasonable reader', play an important role, representing community values and understanding in defamation litigation. Rather, the complex principles and procedures which have developed around defamation law are the real problem. The solution is not the abolition of juries but the reform of defamation law and practice.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 8
Keywords: defamation, media law, juries, trials, 'ordinary, reasonable reader', Australia,New South Wales, law reform
JEL Classification: K10. K13, K30
Date posted: July 13, 2009
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