Public Attitudes to the Criminal Jury: A Review of Recent Findings
15 Pages Posted: 24 May 2011
Date Written: July 2011
A considerable body of scholarship has explored the jury as a legal institution but community reaction to the institution and function of the jury has not, to date, been the subject of a review. The present article fills this void by addressing a number of important questions about public attitudes to the jury. The focus is upon public attitudes to the criminal jury in England and Wales, although limited comparisons are made with public opinion in other jurisdictions. The results demonstrate widespread support for, and confidence in, the criminal jury, both in this country and in other common law jurisdictions. The research record also demonstrates strong public opposition to proposals to restrict the right to trial by jury. There is some evidence, however, that support for the right to trial by jury may decline in the context of offenders charged with terrorism‐related offences.
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