Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Britain abolishes trial by jury

I'd say "Great" Britain, but while it occupies the same place, it no longer deserves that appellation:
The first criminal trial without a jury to take place in England and Wales in more than 400 years begins on Tuesday after lawyers' legal challenges were exhausted.

...

Twomey and his associates face the historic trial in the absence of a jury after the court of appeal examined secret evidence and ruled that "the danger of jury tampering and the subversion of the process of trial by jury is very significant". It is the first trial of its kind under provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

In the last 400 years, trials without juries have taken place only in Northern Ireland, where the Diplock courts were set up to provide justice in the intimidating atmosphere of the Troubles.

The case is being heard at the high court in London and is expected to last three months. The judge, Mr Justice Treacy, will act as judge and jury during the case. Unlike a jury, he will see all the witness statements in the case.
The right to trial by jury was won only with much bloodshed. It has been given up without so much as a whimper. Sic transit Gloria Mundi.

Hat tip: The Devil's Kitchen.

5 comments:

Rev. Paul said...

This ought to scare the bejeebers out of everyone. Sadly, it will probably pass under most folks' radar.

native said...

Borepatch,
You have been mirroring my sentiments quite as close as if we had been in the same room discussing these matters.

Great Briton also is where the first ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST activities were born back in the latter part of the 19th century!

These people have proven time and again that they are without morals, ethics nor conscience!
And by that I am not referring to the general populace there but the elite and royalty!

And we still want to be their friend and emulate them?
Not for me!

Beauty and Health Editor said...

Well, it IS scary, God help anyone who comes across an unreasonable and corrupt judge and they've had it.

How can one person preside over so much evidence without making mistakes or misjudging the evidence?

reflectoscope said...

Scary. That is the only word for it.

Jim

Lissa said...

I linked this to a similar post -- a guy who was arrested for using what might be considered an ethnic slur in an email he didn't write. It's fantastic. And by fantastic, I mean horrifying.