Judge Only Trials – No Matey, Bugger Off

9
1447

A judge tells us that current events mean we should move away from having juries and move to judge only trials. Nope, bugger off:

There is nothing to fear from judge-alone trials. Judges recognise a bad officer when they see one, can assess credibility, reject unreliable identification evidence, avoid bias and accurately apply the burden and standard of proof. They are obliged to give very full reasons for any verdict, including any basis for accepting or rejecting any evidence.

This is not an attempt to undermine trial by jury but a short-term measure to counter a situation which threatens to permanently erode confidence in our criminal justice system.

Sir Richard Henriques is a former High Court judge

It’ll never actually be short term of course. It also misses the actual point of a jury. We might think they’re there to evaluate evidence, decide what is right or wrong, to decide upon guilt of the accused. But they’re not. They’re there to decide whether a crime has been committed. Which includes telling the law, the judge, the politicians and the entire system to bugger off as and when 12 good men and true decide that this isn’t a crime.

Sure, the British legal system absolutely hates any mention of jury nullification. But that is what they’re actually there for. Which is why we shouldn’t do away with them.

And if people don’t want to wait for their chance in front of those 12 good and true? They can always change their plea, can’t they?

9
Leave a Reply

avatar
8 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
9 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
9 Comment authors
Boganboypp11Michael van der RietSpikegareth Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
llamas
Guest
llamas

Only to suggest that the graphic that accompanies the squib could maybe use some explanation. I know what it is, but then I’m an old fogey.

llater,

llamas

TD
Guest
TD

Anyone who thinks judges aren’t often biased in favor of one side or the other has never seen one outside of a TV show.

Bernie G.
Guest
Bernie G.

“avoid bias” Chortle, chortle…

rantingkraut
Guest
rantingkraut

“This is not an attempt to undermine trial by jury but a short-term measure …”
In 1991 the German government introduced an additional tax to help with the cost of unification. It was limited to a one year period. As of today (2020) this temporary measure is still with us.

Boganboy
Guest
Boganboy

Wasn’t it Bismarck who said ‘Nothing is more permanent than a temporary solution.’

gareth
Guest
gareth

Judge only trials? We’ve already got them.

Assange, currently locked up in Blighty’s terrorist jail and being tried by a particularly “fair” judge acting alone. Craig Murray is looking forward to a “Contempt of Court” for {reasons} which will be in front of a completely “fair” and impartial judge. And of course Tommy Robinson has had this several times.

Quite right too I say. Can’t have the wrong sort of people wandering about free can we?

Spike
Guest
Spike

A former High Court judge will surely tell you how impartial High Court judges can be, but they dine with prosecutors and everyone at the table would enjoy a quick, stage-managed trial more than a slow process of trying to untangle the facts of a case.

Trial-by-jury here is Tim’s famous Fence, which he always tells us to understand why they put it up before tearing it down.

Michael van der Riet
Guest
Michael van der Riet

But in fact the huge majority of cases civil and criminal are heard by a magistrate without a jury and we haven’t seen a total collapse of UK society have we?

pp11
Guest
pp11

The Scottish tried to use the pandemic to
Push this through already, the lawyers were against it apparently so they backed down