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Law, Morality and Social Discourse: Jury Nullification in a Canadian Context

89 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2013  

Melanie Janelle Murchison

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Sociology

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Date Written: August 1, 2012

Abstract

In the thirty years since the inception of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms there have been three cases of attempted jury nullification, resulting in varies degrees of success. This thesis will provide an overview of the process jury nullification as well as a discussion on the current Canadian jurisprudence, including all three cases (R. v. Morgentaler, R. v. Latimer and R. v. Krieger). This analysis will be undertaken using two competing theoretical viewpoints: those of neo-natural law theorist Ronald Dworkin and social theorists Alan Hunt and Michel Foucault. Ultimately this thesis will conclude that while it is beneficial to approach the phenomenon of jury nullification using Dworkin’s theory of “law as integrity”, it alone cannot sufficiently explain the process and it is through using both natural law and social theory that jury nullification can be best understood.

Suggested Citation

Murchison, Melanie Janelle, Law, Morality and Social Discourse: Jury Nullification in a Canadian Context (August 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2256008 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2256008

Melanie Janelle Murchison (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Sociology ( email )

Madison, WI 53706
United States

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