Friday, 19 November 2010
This blog post can be read at 5tth.blogspot.com
The lord Chief justice has spoken, the whole system of jury trial is at risk from jurors tweeting, googling. It's not unknown for jurors, bored out of their brains to start surfing their Blackberries, or i-phone for the latest football gossip, but now the Lord Chief Justice seems to think that the whole jury system is under threat from modern technology, well it's not. For years jury members have been told that they mustn't talk to anybody about the case they are trying, and I get the feeling from talking to people who have served on juries in the past that this is respected. This lack of understanding about modern technology amongst the members of the legal profession rather harks back to the days when the average High Court Judge would have to interupt proceedings to confirm with their clerk that these Beatles were indeed a popular beat combo.
It's impossible to un-invent modern technology, but at the same time Jurors read papers, which will have carried just as much information as is available online. But the vast majority of people who serve on juries do so extremely responsibly.
Often their biggest concern is not trying to delve too deeply into the forensic background to the case they are trying, but more often to marvel at the stupidity of it being brought in the first place, A friend of mine once spent two weeks doing jury service, and the only case for which she was called was a theft trial involving a man who was alleged to have stole ONE shoe from a shop!
Posted by Mark Holdstock at 16:08