Juror Punishment, Juror Guidance and the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015
Criminal Law Review, 578-593, 2015
25 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2015 Last revised: 22 Dec 2016
Date Written: July 11, 2015
The Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 creates several new offences relating to juror misconduct, which have generally been considered pragmatic responses to the immediate problem of jurors using the internet to find additional "evidence." Taking as its starting point the possibility of jury studies being written from an "interdisciplinary" perspective situated between mainstream legal scholarship and legal history, this article argues that after the practical abolition of juror punishment in 1670 the judge-jury relationship has usually been focused on juror guidance, not on juror punishment. This has had important consequences for the institution’s civic function, meaning any move in the direction of juror punishment has to be considered not simply as a pragmatic response to an immediate, isolated problem, but also as an important part of the jury’s continuing history as a political institution.
Keywords: Historical jurisprudence, juries, jurors, legal history, misconduct, offences, politics and law
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