EBradbury Resource Sample

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Juries Workbook

Need to know:

  • Qualifications
  • Selection
  • Role
  • Advantages, disadvantages and suggestions for reform


Use the following gapped notes in conjunction with ‘Juries Workbook Slideshow’.

There is a CASE LIST & GLOSSARY of ‘Key Terms’ at the end of this document that can be completed as the terms arise or at the end of the topic for revision.




See how much you already know about juries. In pairs, answer the following questions. When you have answered all you can, team up with other pairs until you think you have a correct answer to all: 


1. How many people sit on a jury?


2. Name another country that has juries?


3. Would you be allowed on a jury?


4. Name two types of people who should not be allowed to do jury service.


5. What do juries have to do in a case?


6. What sorts of cases use a jury?


7. Who is in charge of the jury?


8. Why do you think we have juries?


Juries have been a part of the English legal system for over 1000 years. In 1215 the Magna Carta stated it is the right for everyone to have a trial by their peers. Bushell’s Case (1670) saw the introduction of a jury’s role to decide the facts of a case without the interference of the judge. 

Describe the facts of Bushell’s Case(R v Penn and Mead (1670) and the impact the case has had on the power of modern juries.








Answer the following questions:

Why is Bushell’s Case so important?





Do you think it is right for juries to have the power to acquit a guilty person (Explain your answer)?







R v Ponting (1985)








R v Owen (1992)








R v Randle and Pottle (1991)







How does the decision in Bushell’s Case improve the independence of a jury?








R v McKenna (1960)









R v Wang (2005)









The Juries Act 1974 contains the qualifications for jury service (as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 2003).

What are the 3 main qualifications for jury service:




Some people cannot do jury service. They are:

  1. Disqualified

Criminal who have received prison sentences of 5 years or more are never allowed to sit on a jury. A criminal who have served a short custodial sentence or community sentence will be disqualified from jury service for 10 years. People on bail are also disqualified.

Should criminals be allowed to sit on a jury?















2. Deferred

Jury service can be deferred under certain circumstances - such as a hospital appointment or a family wedding. If granted a deferral, the person will be able to undertake jury service at another date within 12 months of the original summons. Decisions on whether someone may defer or be excused from jury service are made by the Jury Central Summoning Bureau.

3. Excused

The only people who are ‘excused as of right’ are aged 65-70 years old. These people do not have to do jury service if they do not want to. Certain professions were also ‘excused as of right’ but this is no longer the case. Since the Criminal Justice Act 2003, the armed forces, doctors, pharmacists etc can only be granted an excusal if they have good reason. An excusal can be made at the court’s discretion but it is more likely that they will grant a deferral instead.

4. Ineligible

Mentally disordered people are ineligible to serve on a jury. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 defines the different types of mental illness e.g. psychopathic disorder and mental handicap.

Before the Criminal Justice Act 2003, there were more categories of people who were ineligible for jury service due to their profession. These professions are no longer ineligible and include police, lawyers, judges and the clergy. In 2004, Lord Justice Dyson was the first judge to be picked for jury service under the new rules. Cases such as R v Abdroikof, R v Green and R v Williams (2007) have challenged the fairness of having police officers sitting on a jury but the Supreme Court decided that it would be unfair if the police officer on the jury worked at the same station as the arresting officer.



R v Abdroikof, R v Green and R v Williams (2007)

















- This sample concludes here, displayed is about 20% of the overall Workbook -


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