Advantages Of Jury Trials In The Canadian Justice System.

2082 words - 8 pages

This essay looks at the advantages of trials by juries in the Canadian justice system.I wrote this, while in Grade 10, for my OAC Law cource ISP project. It is a good essay, as I spent a lot of my time researching and planning for the essay..."Trial by jury" is very beneficial in Canada, providing exceptionally fair and just trials. Canada, as a democratic society needs these trials for a number of reasons. Firstly, the jury selection process and ensuing protocols established ensure that juries are not prejudiced in nature. Secondly, they protect civil liberties, due process and other aspects of the justice system and trials. Furthermore, trials by juries are exempt of certain fallbacks of their counterpart - trials by judge. A fourth advantage of juries is that they improve both the accuracy and acceptability of the verdict. While, there are in place a myriad of stringent protocols to prevent the jury from being biased, there also are regulations to ensure that in the process, counsel cannot tailor the jury to suit his or her needs. Finally, some people think that trial by juries are less effective in reaching the truth that trial by judges, because judges are trained professionals of law; however, in light of the procedures involved in a trial by jury, this alleged setback becomes void.The jury selection process in Canada ensures that there is no bias among the jurors or purposeful misrepresentation of ethnic groups. This fact has been affirmed by extensive research conducted by many organizations. The Law reforms commission of Canada addressed the jury selection process in its 1980 working paper The Jury in Criminal trials, and its 1982 Report, The jury. The Commissions basic conclusion was that no drastic revision of the process was called for (Granger, 153). "[T]here is a good reason - historic, political, intellectual, and pragmatic - to retain the jury system" (Law reforms commission of Canada). Furthermore, the protocols established through common law nullify the possibility of bias being induced into jurors. In R. v. Caldough, it was established that, any communications with jurors are to be considered an interference with justice (Granger, 157). This was further expanded on in R. v. Papineau, where the court ruled that such conduct was to be considered contempt of court, and obstruction of justice (Schreck)[These] rules apply whether the juror has been sworn, discharged, or whether the prospective juror has just merely been summoned to serve. A violation of the rule can result in discharge, of the juror, a mistrial, a citation for contempt of court, or a criminal charge (Granger, 157).Also, "a juror must not only be impartial, but manifestly be seen to be impartial" (Granger, 158). These various protocols, while observed by some as extreme, ensure that jurors remain unbiased, and as such, provide the accused with a fair trial. Supplementing these protocols, counsels have the ability to ensure that the entire jury panel or individual...

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