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The History Of The Jury System

678 words - 3 pages

The jury system is essentially a descendant of Great Britain, the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. Colonialism played a significant role in the development of the jury system globally. However, despite colonial influence, judicial systems across the world have taken their own way. As a result, the jury system has developed and changed to suit the needs and social conscience of different countries. Across the world, juries examine and decide the facts in a jury trial, the accuracy of the testimony, the guilt or innocence of criminal defendants, and liabilities in a civil litigation. Today, many countries such as Britain, United States, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Australia, France, German, India, and so on practice jury trials. These countries will be the issue of discussion in this paper.
In almost all the countries where jury system is practices, juries have been seen as the best tool for ensuring equity and empowering citizens to determine and play a role in justice. According to Abramson (1994), the only way an ordinary citizen participates in government and injects community values in the administration of justice is through the jury system. This has been the only system that has placed power directly in the hands of the citizens (Abramson, 1994). As a result, the jury does help society’s acceptance of judicial decisions. The purpose of this paper is to examine the scope and role of the democratic values of the jury system as an organ of justice, both in common and civil legal systems.
Throughout history, citizens have been involved in settling disputes. Thus, modern juries are the hybrids of various systems. These include, the Egyptian, Greek, Romans, and European jury systems. In England, under King Alfred (871-901 A.D.) juries used to determine the questions put before them. However, this process changed later when evidence of witnesses began to appear before them. The modern jury system was established during this time. By the 12th century, citizens were brought to court to decide on matters they had witnessed. Subsequently, the use of juries increased, and defendants...

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