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Jury
A jury is a sworn body of people (jurors) convened to hear evidence and render an impartial verdict (a finding of fact on a question) officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a penalty or judgment. Juries developed in England during the Middle Ages and are a hallmark of the English common law system. As such, they are used by the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and other countries whose legal systems were derived from the British Empire. But most other countries use variations of the European civil law or Islamic sharia law systems, in which juries are not generally used. Most trial juries are " petit juries", and usually consist of twelve people. Historically, a larger jury known as a grand jury was used to investigate potential crimes and render indictments against suspects. All common law countries except the United States and Liberia have phased these out. The modern criminal court jury arrangement has evolved out of the me ...
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Jury Box Cropped
A jury is a sworn body of people (jurors) convened to hear evidence and render an impartial verdict (a finding of fact on a question) officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a penalty or judgment. Juries developed in England during the Middle Ages and are a hallmark of the English common law system. As such, they are used by the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and other countries whose legal systems were derived from the British Empire. But most other countries use variations of the European civil law or Islamic sharia law systems, in which juries are not generally used. Most trial juries are " petit juries", and usually consist of twelve people. Historically, a larger jury known as a grand jury was used to investigate potential crimes and render indictments against suspects. All common law countries except the United States and Liberia have phased these out. The modern criminal court jury arrangement has evolved out of the medieval ...
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Trial By Jury
A jury trial, or trial by jury, is a legal proceeding in which a jury makes a decision or findings of fact. It is distinguished from a bench trial in which a judge or panel of judges makes all decisions. Jury trials are used in a significant share of serious criminal cases in many but not all common law judicial systems. The majority of common law jurisdictions in Asia (such as Singapore, India, Pakistan and Malaysia) have abolished jury trials on the grounds that juries are susceptible to bias. Juries or lay judges have also been incorporated into the legal systems of many civil law countries for criminal cases. Only the United States makes routine use of jury trials in a wide variety of non-criminal cases. Other common law legal jurisdictions use jury trials only in a very select class of cases that make up a tiny share of the overall civil docket (like malicious prosecution and false imprisonment suits in England and Wales), but true civil jury trials are almost entirel ...
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Grand Jury
A grand jury is a jury—a group of citizens—empowered by law to conduct legal proceedings, investigate potential criminal conduct, and determine whether criminal charges should be brought. A grand jury may subpoena physical evidence or a person to testify. A grand jury is separate from the courts, which do not preside over its functioning. Originating in England during the Middle Ages, grand juries are only retained in two countries, the United States and Liberia. Other common law jurisdictions formerly employed them, and most others now employ a different procedure that does not involve a jury: a preliminary hearing. Grand juries perform both accusatory and investigatory functions. The investigatory functions of grand juries include obtaining and reviewing documents and other evidence, and hearing sworn testimonies of witnesses who appear before it; the accusatory function determines whether there is probable cause to believe that one or more persons committed a particul ...
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Jury Nullification
Jury nullification (US/UK), jury equity (UK), or a perverse verdict (UK) occurs when the jury in a criminal trial gives a not guilty verdict despite a defendant having clearly broken the law. The jury's reasons may include the belief that the law itself is unjust, that the prosecutor has misapplied the law in the defendant's case, that the punishment for breaking the law is too harsh, or general frustrations with the criminal justice system. Some juries have also refused to convict due to their own prejudices in favor of the defendant. Such verdicts are possible because a jury has an absolute right to return any verdict it chooses. Nullification is not an official part of criminal procedure, but is the logical consequence of two rules governing the systems in which it exists: # Jurors cannot be punished for passing an incorrect verdict. # A defendant who is acquitted can, in many jurisdictions, not be tried a second time for the same offence. A jury verdict that is contrary ...
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Bench Trial
A bench trial is a trial by judge, as opposed to a trial by jury. The term applies most appropriately to any administrative hearing in relation to a summary offense to distinguish the type of trial. Many legal systems (Roman, Islamic) use bench trials for most or all cases or for certain types of cases. While a jury renders a verdict, a judge in a bench trial does the same by making a finding. United Kingdom England and Wales The majority of civil trials proceed without a jury and are heard by a judge sitting alone. Summary criminal trials may be heard by a single district judge (magistrates' court) or by a panel of at least two, but more usually three, magistrates. Section 47 Criminal Justice Act 2003 does allow a bench trial for indictable offences, but is rarely used, having been exercised only two times since its inception. Scotland Most civil trials in Scotland are conducted in a sheriff court by a sheriff sitting alone. In the Court of Session, a judge in either ...
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Verdict
In law, a verdict is the formal finding of fact made by a jury on matters or questions submitted to the jury by a judge. In a bench trial, the judge's decision near the end of the trial is simply referred to as a finding. In England and Wales, a coroner's findings used to be called verdicts but are, since 2009, called conclusions (see ). Etymology The term "verdict", from the Latin ''veredictum'', literally means "to say the truth" and is derived from Middle English ''verdit'', from Anglo-Norman: a compound of ''ver'' ("true", from the Latin ''vērus'') and ''dit'' ("speech", from the Latin ''dictum'', the neuter past participle of ''dīcere'', to say). Criminal law In a criminal case, the verdict, which may be either "not guilty" or "guilty"—except in Scotland where the verdict of " not proven" is also available—is handed down by the jury. Different counts in the same case may have different verdicts. A verdict of guilty in a criminal case is generally followed by a ...
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Petit Juries
In common law, a petit jury (or trial jury) hears the evidence in a trial as presented by both the plaintiff (petitioner) and the defendant (respondent). After hearing the evidence and often jury instructions from the judge, the group retires for deliberation, to consider a verdict. The majority required for a verdict varies. In some cases it must be unanimous, while in other jurisdictions it may be a majority or supermajority. A jury that is unable to come to a verdict is referred to as a hung jury. The size of the jury varies; in criminal cases involving serious felonies there are usually 12 jurors, although Scotland uses 15. A number of countries that are not in the English common law tradition have quasi-juries on which lay judges or jurors and professional judges deliberate together regarding criminal cases. However, the common law trial jury is the most common type of jury system. In civil cases many trials require fewer than twelve jurors. Juries are almost never used in c ...
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Common Law
In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The common law is not a brooding omnipresence in the sky, but the articulate voice of some sovereign or quasi sovereign that can be identified," ''Southern Pacific Company v. Jensen'', 244 U.S. 205, 222 (1917) (Oliver Wendell Holmes, dissenting). By the early 20th century, legal professionals had come to reject any idea of a higher or natural law, or a law above the law. The law arises through the act of a sovereign, whether that sovereign speaks through a legislature, executive, or judicial officer. The defining characteristic of common law is that it arises as precedent. Common law courts look to the past decisions of courts to synthesize the legal principles of past cases. ''Stare decisis'', the principle that cases should be decided according to consistent principled rules s ...
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Trier Of Fact
A trier of fact or finder of fact is a person or group who determines which facts are available in a legal proceeding (usually a trial) and how relevant they are to deciding its outcome. To determine a fact is to decide, from the evidence presented, whether something existed or some event occurred. The factfinder differs by the type of proceeding. In a jury trial, it is the jury; in a non-jury trial, the judge is both the factfinder and the trier of law. In administrative proceedings, the factfinder may be a hearing officer or a hearing body.Law Dictionary: Fact-Finder
Accessed 17 November 2008.


Juries

In a jury trial, a is the trier of fact. The

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Trial
In law, a trial is a coming together of parties to a dispute, to present information (in the form of evidence) in a tribunal, a formal setting with the authority to adjudicate claims or disputes. One form of tribunal is a court. The tribunal, which may occur before a judge, jury, or other designated trier of fact, aims to achieve a resolution to their dispute. Types by finder of fact Where the trial is held before a group of members of the community, it is called a jury trial. Where the trial is held solely before a judge, it is called a bench trial. Hearings before administrative bodies may have many of the features of a trial before a court, but are typically not referred to as trials. An appeal (appellate proceeding) is also generally not deemed a trial, because such proceedings are usually restricted to a review of the evidence presented before the trial court, and do not permit the introduction of new evidence. Types by dispute Trials can also be divided by th ...
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Adversarial System
The adversarial system or adversary system is a legal system used in the common law countries where two advocates represent their parties' case or position before an impartial person or group of people, usually a judge or jury, who attempt to determine the truth and pass judgment accordingly. It is in contrast to the inquisitorial system used in some civil law systems (i.e. those deriving from Roman law or the Napoleonic code) where a judge investigates the case. The adversarial system is the two-sided structure under which criminal trial courts operate, putting the prosecution against the defense. Basic features As an accused is not compelled to give evidence in a criminal adversarial proceeding, they may not be questioned by a prosecutor or judge unless they choose to be; however, should they decide to testify, they are subject to cross-examination and could be found guilty of perjury. As the election to maintain an accused person's right to silence prevents any examinat ...
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Court
A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law. In both common law and civil law legal systems, courts are the central means for dispute resolution, and it is generally understood that all people have an ability to bring their claims before a court. Similarly, the rights of those accused of a crime include the right to present a defense before a court. The system of courts that interprets and applies the law is collectively known as the judiciary. The place where a court sits is known as a venue. The room where court proceedings occur is known as a courtroom, and the building as a courthouse; court facilities range from simple and very small facilities in rural communities to large complex facilities in urban communities. The practical authorit ...
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