The claim that the jury is a randomly chosen and representative sample of community is an important part of the ideology which currently underpins the institution. Supporters of the jury argue that both its impartiality and its independence from the State are bolstered by the fact that it represents a randomly selected cross-section of the populace. In most common law jurisdictions where the jury operates, various steps have been taken over recent years in order preserve and strengthen the perception of the jury as a "microcosm of democratic society". For example, in England the property qualification for jurors was removed in 1972 and, consequently, the franchise became virtually universal. Similar moves have recently taken place in various Australian jurisdictions.Against this background of increasingly representative juries elsewhere, the Hong Kong jury is an oddity. Like most of the legal institutions and laws of Hong Kong, it was imported to the colony from England, the colonising power. Indeed, the English law concerning juries and jurors still applies to Hong Kong in so far as it does not conflict with the special provisions made for the jurisdiction by the Jury Ordinance. Yet the Hong Kong jury is not in the least representative of the Hong Kong community, nor has there been any attempt to make it so. The major purpose of this article, therefore, is to discuss the unusual composition of the Hong Kong jury. First, however, it is useful to outline briefly the development of some of the more important and unique aspects of the way in which the Hong Kong jury operates.
Juries, Jurors, Ordinances, Trials, Verdicts, Defendants, Government issued identification, Jurisdiction, Criminal justice, Criminals, Hong Kong
Asian Studies | Criminal Procedure | Jurisdiction
Law, Society and Governance
International and Comparative Law Quarterly
Cambridge University Press (CUP): HSS Journals - No Cambridge Open
DUFF, Peter; FINDLAY, Mark; and HOWARTH, Carla.
The Hong Kong Jury: A Microcosm of Society?. (1990). International and Comparative Law Quarterly. 39, (4), 881-891. Research Collection School Of Law.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/sol_research/1998
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