Jury Service: Some suggestions for Damian Green
Damian Green will understandably be concerned with stories suggesting the quality of Britain's juries is not what it used to be. Here are some suggestions for him
Dear Mr Green,
In response to your somewhat frantic query over the state of our justice system, we have instigated a swift consultation and have pleasure in detailing our recommendations.
In light of the extraordinary conclusion to Regina vs Pryce it has become apparent that many trials by jury are in danger of becoming gallus ascendit completum owing to a variety of factors, not least a downward trend/spiral/plunge in educational standards and significant problems amongst some jurors in understanding the English language.
Given the vital continuation of this cornerstone of English Law we asked for suggestions from interested parties. These are their answers:
If jurors find the court proceedings difficult then other forms of communication must be made available. If there are not enough translators to go round then perhaps the court could return in the evenings and repeat the hearing verbatim (there are such things as stenographers after all – how hard can it be?), so those who didn’t have a translator first time round can get the hang of what’s going on. If translators cannot be found for whatever reason then perhaps, given its vitality of interpretation, court proceedings could be performed through the medium of modern dance. There are some wonderful collectives in Hackney which could help train the judges, barristers and court officers.
We are quite happy to provide jurors for any sort of legal work. Most of our lot are sitting around drinking coffee at their desks anyway and they’re always up for a bit of extra folding. Given the budget cuts we would be happy to boost our revenue anyway so just tell us the nature of the trial, where it is and what you’d like us to ‘concentrate’ on (what am I like!), and we’ll send you a quote.
Get rid of jury selection. Set up a Justice and Equality Board. Recruit 4,500 professional jury staff headed by a senior management team of 890. Pay for it by borrowing some munny.
LIBERAL DEMOCARATIC PARTY
Plant a tree. Hug something. Disagree with anyone within 10 metres. What was the question?
CONSERVATIVE PARTY POLICY UNIT
What’s the point? Whatever we say will be shot down in flames by our Coalition ‘Partners’ anyway so it’s best to do nothing and then neither of us will be disappointed (insert own gag about marriage).
LAW SOCIETY RECOMMENDATIONS
Professional jurors could be a solution. Able to undertake long hours of work listening to carefully crafted arguments by some of the most eloquent and intelligent people in the UK. Able to take direction from
Daddy a judge. Educated, independent and happy to go many months without the television, radio or newspapers. Comfy room for deliberating and all the tea and coffee you can drink. Able to spin out the decision too – none of this quick fire stuff; re-trials are good
…fees are fees after all.
Adrian Moss is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator and a screenwriter
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