Lay Adjudication in Europe: The Rise and Fall of the Traditional Jury

28 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2016

See all articles by John D. Jackson

John D. Jackson

University of Nottingham - School of Law

Nikolai Kovalev

Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Criminology

Date Written: May 20, 2016

Abstract

English Abstract: Drawing on a second survey of lay adjudication in Europe conducted by the authors in 2011-2012, this article points to a general decline across Europe in the use of the ‘traditional’ jury and a trend towards diminishing its capacity to deliver independent decisions. Two examples from Eastern and Western Europe are used to illustrate this trend: a case study of the Russian jury shows how a lack of respect within the legal culture of professionals for lay adjudication has reduced the jury in Russia to a mere ‘decorative’ institution and an analysis of the ECtHR’s jurisprudence shows how the Court’s concern to avoid arbitrary decision making has been encouraging Western European states to introduce greater accountability measures, which threaten the jury’s independence. The article ends on a more optimistic note by arguing that greater accountability measures need not detract from the jury’ s traditional role in promoting lay and political participation in the administration of justice.

Spanish Abstract: Basándose en una segunda encuesta sobre adjudicación de legos en Europa desarrollada por los autores entre 2011 y 2012, este artículo apunta a una disminución general en toda Europa del uso del jurado “tradicional” y una tendencia hacia su capacidad cada vez menor de prestar decisiones independientes. Se utilizan dos ejemplos de Europa oriental y occidental para ilustrar esta tendencia: un estudio de caso del jurado ruso demuestra cómo dentro de la cultura jurídica, la falta de respeto de los profesionales hacia la adjudicación de legos ha reducido el jurado en Rusia a una institución meramente “decorativa” y un análisis de la jurisprudencia del TEDH muestra cómo la preocupación de la Corte para evitar la toma de decisiones arbitrarias ha fomentado que los estados de Europa occidental introduzcan mayores medidas de control, que ponen en peligro la independencia del jurado. El artículo termina con una nota más optimista con el argumento de que mayores medidas de control no tienen que quitarle valor al papel tradicional del jurado en la promoción de la participación de legos y políticos en la administración de justicia.

Keywords: Criminal juries, lay adjudication, fair trial rights, Council of Europe, comparative criminal justice, Jurados penales, adjudicación de legos, derecho a un juicio justo, Consejo de Europa, justicia penal comparada

Suggested Citation

Jackson, John D. and Kovalev, Nikolai P., Lay Adjudication in Europe: The Rise and Fall of the Traditional Jury (May 20, 2016). Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2782413

John D. Jackson (Contact Author)

University of Nottingham - School of Law ( email )

Law and Social Science Building
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 1BB
United Kingdom

Nikolai P. Kovalev

Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Criminology ( email )

171 Colborne Street
Brantford, Ontario N3T 6C9
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://wlu.ca/faculty-profiles/hss/nikolai-kovalev.html

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