Please do read this important article by Peter Hitchens...
...and then the following interesting review by our contributor LJH, that outlines some important points:
This is a great article about juries from Peter Hitchens and well worth a read. Of course, Hitchens does not seem to understand the full power of authentic common law trial by jury - that the jury should be judging of both the law and the facts, and be independent of the person, who in our current system, we call the judge (whose role should really be just an advisor and convenor). I’m not sure whether Hitchens realises how very few criminal cases actually come before a jury currently in this country (about 1 percent)(1), nor does he address the issue of the Magistrates' Courts regularly trying cases (some very serious) without a jury. The author raises the problem of majority verdicts, but does not address the fact that, in authentic trial by jury, only one juror need find the defendant Not Guilty, for that to be the verdict.
Nevertheless, Hitchens recognises how our system has whittled away at trial by jury over the years, and how any further whittling away is extremely dangerous. He understands totally that 'The Powers That Shouldn’t Be' are afraid of juries and that is why many regimes have abolished them. In this country, as Brown and Neal so clearly put it: ‘The empirical demise of the jury has been accomplished by stealth rather than by denigration or frontal attack. Paradoxically this has been accomplished by constant affirmation of its significance’(2)
Hitchens points to the research of Cheryl Thomas QC, which research provides a very useful counter argument to anyone trying to claim that jurors are too stupid, too lazy, too biased etc. etc. to do the job. This research proves many of the detrimental claims made about the jury to be untrue. There are more links and references to this research in my dissertation here...
I note with interest that when the Scottish government tried to experiment with having rape trials without juries, the project failed because lawyers refused to participate. As I have said often, lawyers are not the enemy of the freedom movement, colluding with 'The Powers That Shouldn't Be', speaking a secret language designed to trick and trap you. Many lawyers have a strong sense of justice and hold the jury in high esteem, they just have not been taught that authentic common law trial by jury is the very fulcrum of democracy.
(1) Thomas, C (2010) Are Juries Fair? Ministry of Justice online at https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/publications/research-and-analysis/moj-research/are-juries- fair-research.pdf
(2) Brown, D. and Neal, D. (1988) Show trials: The media and the gang of twelve. The Jury under Attack, p. 126