Comparative Jury Procedures: What a Small Island Nation Teaches the United States About Jury Reform

35 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2015 Last revised: 20 Nov 2015

Date Written: February 25, 2015

Abstract

The literature considering various possible procedural reforms to United States jury trial practice suffers from a high dose of American Exceptionalism. The experience of other nations rarely is acknowledged, much less considered as possibly informative. This Article argues that as a British-derived system of roughly identical vintage as the United States, the jury practices of Malta can inform American practice in three respects: (1) the desirability of increased juror interaction – in particular allowing oral juror questions to witnesses and allowing deliberation during the trial, (2) the utility of eliminating voir dire in jury selection, and (3) the possibility of procedural reform such as modifying the verdict form to insulate jurors from external pressures on the verdict.

Keywords: comparative law, jury reform, jury procedures, jury selection, juror questions, voir dire

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K33, K40, K41

Suggested Citation

Klein, Kenneth S., Comparative Jury Procedures: What a Small Island Nation Teaches the United States About Jury Reform (February 25, 2015). 76 La. L. Rev. 447 (2015); California Western School of Law Research Paper No. 15-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2569689 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2569689

Kenneth S. Klein (Contact Author)

California Western School of Law ( email )

225 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101
United States
619-515-1535 (Phone)

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