Fit for Purpose? A Critique of the Jury System within the English and Welsh Jurisdiction

Authors: Tony Singh Purewal Published date: 01-03-2022 Status: Published

Formerly taken by the members of the assize in its early days, the foundations of a jury predate Norman roots whereby members of the assize took the oath to justly try the cause of land disputes; although it was not until the 15th century where a jury became a part of the criminal and civil trial. Nearly 6 centuries later the general practice of jury has survived historical evolution and has become a civic duty today, however this ultimately begs the question whether a jury system is fit for purpose in a cosmopolitan and modern society despite its centrality to the English and Welsh justice system. Whilst this article does not seek to challenge the importance of the jury system, it argues that the current system is in- adequate to an extent. By reflection of one’s own academic and career experiences, and by exploring studies from the domains of law and psychology, this article explores whether the jury system in England and Wales is fit for purpose today in consideration of its strengths and diffi- culties, whilst also offering alternatives and areas for reform in response to this critique.

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Corresponding author. Tony Singh Purewal: Hstpurew@liverpool.ac.uk

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