The Individual and the Court System Essay

1084 Words 5 Pages
The Individual and the Court System - Essay

The Australian jury trial system is said to have many merits and defects, and as Winston Churchill once said about democracy the Australian jury system is “not a perfect system, it is just the least worst of all the others”. In analysing the system several major strengths can be seen, but many weaknesses can be found also. It is a matter of great interest in the general community and many people have written on it, ranging from past jurors to university students.

Some of the main strengths seen are that juries have established philosophical and historical importance within our community. The jury system is a centuries old tradition of our legal system and in the eyes of the community it
…show more content…
The fact that community confidence in our judicial system is dependent on the secret and anonymous deliberations of members of the community is important and jury verdicts are preferred over the decisions of appointed judges or experts. In particular, the requirement for a unanimous verdict in a murder trial reinforces the importance of the presumption of innocence for those who face a serious loss if liberty within our community.
Some defenders of the system recognise that there is no perfect system of judicial fact finding but the jury system still remains the 'least worst' of suggested methods of fact finding.

On the other hand the jury system has several major flaws that need to be addressed, one of these is that the philosophical and historical arguments for use of the jury system are no longer as important. For example centuries ago juries could be seen as providing safeguards against arbitrary decision making and serving to protect the liberties of accused. However, in modern societies sufficient safeguards exist within the judicial system and these together with improvements in the education levels of our community mean that juries are not required as bulwarks against the erosion of precious liberties. Also the random selection of jury members provides the courts with panels of persons unqualified and unable to discharge their duties effectively. The categories of those ineligible

Related Documents