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The First Time is Always The Hardest

First criminal trial without a jury for 400 years

Lord Judge: “In this country trial by jury is a hallowed principle of the administration of criminal justice. It is properly identified as a right, available to be exercised by a defendant unless and until the right is amended or circumscribed by express legislation.”

For 400 years we have put up with the problem of embracery without having to ditch trial by jury. Back in the days when even our cities were no larger than large towns and Jurors and defendants all lived within the same walking distance of the court we managed. With easy travel, video links and all the paraphernalia of a surveillance state are they saying we really can't manage it now?
Expect to see it happen a lot more from now on.

Comments

The first such trial in 400 years? Surely the defendant has always had the option of being tried without a jury, and in the case of minor offenses it must have been exercised at least occasionally. Perhaps it means the first trial in which the defendant has been denied the right to a jury. In any case it is deeply disturbing. Public trial by jury is one of the things which stand between the people and the tyranny of the state, and should never be surrendered.

Cue bad joke:

Judge- Defendant, do you wish to be tried by me or by a jury of your peers?
Defendant (whose name might possibly be Paddy)- What does peers mean, Your Worship?
Judge- Your equals, people like you.
Defendant- Then try me yourself, Your Worship. I don't want to be judged by a bunch of crooks.

This is worrying as it will set a precedent and we all know how judges love a precedent. The way our Judiciary works now I would not trust either one or three judges to produce Justice. Of course, it also provides an easy way for the CPS to get the verdict they want.
As an aside, how did the previous jury get nobbled with a reported 85 of the Metropolitan's best guarding them, or not.

Derek

Someone might attempt to influence the jury outside the courtroom, so we will dispense with a jury. Oh yes. And a witness might hear something over the telly, so we may dispense with having witnesses, right? And defense counsel might try to impugn the prosecution evidence, so we may dispense with defense representation. On and on...

The right to trial by jury is always our right and cannot be amended by statute legislation no matter what lawyers, judges or politicians say. (The judge-only provisions are contained in the infamous Criminal Justice Act 2003.)

Accusations of "jury nobbling" caused the previous cases against the defendants to collapse, and the whole business has proved to be what anything legal is - an extremely expensive business. That, and the apparent inability of the police to stop jury nobbling, is why the lord judge is so eager to put his shoe in his mouth.

So, because the law in Britain has grown ridiculously expensive and the police have grown ineffective, we are to dispense with our right to trial by jury?

Sure, wrote Barry in the comments to the Times report. The right to a jury trial is just "a vestige from Feudal times".

Families whose children have been taken away from them by one family court administrator will no doubt agree.

So will those who established the jury trial as a shield against state power, and gave the jury the duty to be judges of law as well as fact and to refuse to convict a person if they believed the law under which he was charged was unconstitutional or unjust.

Our "modest" proposal

We may sympathize with a judge who hopes this case will be resolved before those alleged to have stolen £1.75 million at Heathrow - John Twomey, 61, Peter Blake, 56, Barry Hibberd, 41, and Glen Cameron, 49 - line up for their pensions.

But that is no reason to undermine our fundamental right to trial by jury.

Still, perhaps there is something to be said for this - if jury nobbling can be absolutely proved, the court might well move that the defendants had admitted their guilt and send them to their comfortable, internet-connected cells forthwith.

The right to trial by jury is always our right and cannot be amended by statute legislation no matter what lawyers, judges or politicians say. (The judge-only provisions are contained in the infamous Criminal Justice Act 2003.)

Accusations of "jury nobbling" caused the previous cases against the defendants to collapse, and the whole business has proved to be what anything legal is - an extremely expensive business. That, and the apparent inability of the police to stop jury nobbling, is why the lord judge is so eager to put his shoe in his mouth.

So, because the law in Britain has grown ridiculously expensive and the police have grown ineffective, we are to dispense with our right to trial by jury?

Sure, wrote Barry in the comments to the Times report. The right to a jury trial is just "a vestige from Feudal times".

Families whose children have been taken away from them by one family court administrator will no doubt agree.

So will those who established the jury trial as a shield against state power, and gave the jury the duty to be judges of law as well as fact and to refuse to convict a person if they believed the law under which he was charged was unconstitutional or unjust.

Our "modest" proposal

We may sympathize with a judge who hopes this case will be resolved before those alleged to have stolen £1.75 million at Heathrow - John Twomey, 61, Peter Blake, 56, Barry Hibberd, 41, and Glen Cameron, 49 - line up for their pensions.

But that is no reason to undermine our fundamental right to trial by jury.

Still, perhaps there is something to be said for this - if jury nobbling can be absolutely proved, the court might well move that the defendants had admitted their guilt and send them to their comfortable, internet-connected cells forthwith.

The right to trial by jury is always our right and cannot be amended by statute legislation no matter what lawyers, judges or politicians say. (The judge-only provisions are contained in the infamous Criminal Justice Act 2003.)

Accusations of "jury nobbling" caused the previous cases against the defendants to collapse, and the whole business has proved to be what anything legal is - an extremely expensive business. That, and the apparent inability of the police to stop jury nobbling, is why the lord judge is so eager to put his shoe in his mouth.

So, because the law in Britain has grown ridiculously expensive and the police have grown ineffective, we are to dispense with our right to trial by jury?

Sure, wrote Barry in the comments to the Times report. The right to a jury trial is just "a vestige from Feudal times".

Families whose children have been taken away from them by one family court administrator will no doubt agree.

So will those who established the jury trial as a shield against state power, and gave the jury the duty to be judges of law as well as fact and to refuse to convict a person if they believed the law under which he was charged was unconstitutional or unjust.

Our "modest" proposal

We may sympathize with a judge who hopes this case will be resolved before those alleged to have stolen £1.75 million at Heathrow - John Twomey, 61, Peter Blake, 56, Barry Hibberd, 41, and Glen Cameron, 49 - line up for their pensions.

But that is no reason to undermine our fundamental right to trial by jury.

Still, perhaps there is something to be said for this - if jury nobbling can be absolutely proved, the court might well move that the defendants had admitted their guilt and send them to their comfortable, internet-connected cells forthwith.

"Lord Judge: “In this country trial by jury is a hallowed principle of the administration of criminal justice. It is properly identified as a right, available to be exercised by a defendant unless and until the right is amended or circumscribed by express legislation.”

So 'Lord Judge' where is this express legislation you speak of??

NEWSFLASH Mr 'Lord Judge' MY rights are beyond your remit, unless of course your remit includes ignoring my rights and making me your servant.

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