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The Criminal Courts and Lay People - Key Cases


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Bushell's Case 1670
A judge cannot interfere with a jury's verdict, even if he disagrees with it.
Middlesex Crown Court 1992
'Praying a talesman' - The jury clerk has the power to select any qualified person passing by in the street.
Ponting 1984
A civil servant released confidential documents relating to the Belgrano. The jury refused to convict him despite the judge stating that the D had no defence.
Lord Devlin
A certain lord said that juries are 'the lamp that shows that freedom lives'.
Heathrow Robbery Case 2010
After repeated jury nobbling, a trial was heard with no jury.
Kronlid 1996
3 women smashed the electronic systems of a jet headed for the Indonesian government, who were in violent conflict with East Timor. They were acquitted.
MOJ Research in 2007
Ethnic minorities are not significantly under-represented.
Home Office Research in 2004
Over 50% of people summonsed are 'enthusiastic' for jury service. Less than a third were 'reluctant'.
R v Randle and Pottle
The D confessed to helping the spy, George Blake, escape from prison, in a book that was released 25 years later. He was acquitted nontheless.
R v Young
4 members of the jury used a ouija board in their hotel room to contact dead victims. A retrial was ordered.
Sander v United Kingdom
Jurors were openly racist, sparking another juror's complaints.
R v West
A woman who murdered 10 young girls, including her own daughter, appealed partly on the grounds that media coverage had influenced her trial.
The Lord Chancellor in 1998
The 6 key qualities for magistrates were set out by this man in this year.
Paul v DPP
The D was accused of kerb-crawling, which the magistrates knew was a problem in the area and therefore they found him guilty of causing a nuisance.
R v Bingham Justices ex p Jowitt
Chairman of the Bench said he always believed police officers over Ds. The ruling was therefore quashed on appeal.
R v Taylor and Taylor
Two sisters were charged with murder after newspapers published a misleading photo - Conviction quashed in CoA.
The Romford Jury
Successful use of challenge to the array - 9 of 12 from Romford, with 2 living on the same street.
R v Fraser
Successful use of challenge to the array - all white jury.
R v Ford
Failed use of challenge to the array - A jury is randomly selected and cannot be challenged due to a lack of ethnic diversity.
R v Wilson and Spranson
Challenge for cause - Convictions were quashed after a juror was the wife of a prison officer who worked at the prison where the Ds were on remand.
R v McKenna
A judge threatened to imprison jurors if they didn't come to a verdict within ten minutes. The guilty verdict was quashed on appeal.
Ward v James
Established that jury cases should not be used for personal injury cases, except for in exceptional cases.
Singh v London Underground
King's Cross Underground Fire - Unsuitable for jury trial due to wide issues and technical points.
R v Sheffield Crown Court ex p Brownlow
Vetting is unconstitutional and not sanctioned by the Juries Act 1974.
R v Mason
In favour of vetting of criminal records to uphold the law that disqualified persons must not sit on a jury.
R v Eccles Justices ex p Farrelly
The clerk should not assist the magistrates in their decision making.
C v DPP
Example of a case leapfrogging from the QBD of the High Court to the Supreme Court.