Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-2001

Abstract

Recent law reform debate proposes the complexity of trials as generally reducing juror comprehension. This in turn is said to impact on the accuracy of the verdict. The empirical studies of three very different jury systems examined in detail in the paper challenge these assumptions against problematic measures of complexity. Critics of the jury, particularly in commercial fraud trials, often take the issue of trial complexity as a given. The studies demonstrate that features of the trial which trouble jurors in terms of concentration, comprehension and decision making are consistent, while often specific to the trial and interrelated. The paper argues for a more sophisticated analysis of trial complexity to precede further empirical testing of the relationship between complexity, comprehension and verdict delivery. This is crucial as a foundation for any policy reform regarding verdict delivery mechanisms on the basis of trial complexity.

Discipline

Criminal Law

Research Areas

Law, Society and Governance

Publication

British Journal of Criminology

Volume

41

Issue

1

First Page

56

Last Page

76

ISSN

0007-0955

Identifier

10.1093/bjc/41.1.56

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy E - Oxford Open Option D

Copyright Owner and License

Author

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/41.1.56

Included in

Criminal Law Commons

Share

COinS