Alternatives to the jury system

It is important to note that reforms refer to proposed modifications to the jury system, whereas alternatives refer to suggestions of how to replace the jury system entirely.

Judge alone or panel of judges

Judges would, as usual, use their expertise and knowledge of the law to decide on the evidence and reach a verdict. This could remedy one potential weakness of juries, being that jury members often do not have a good knowledge of the law. Yet, if this were the case, there would be no trial by one’s peers, and the community would be out of touch with their legal system.

Specialist jury

Juries would be tailored to each individual case. For instance, in a medical malpractice case, a jury could be made up of doctors. The jury would, therefore, have expertise on the evidence and facts at hand. Despite this clear disadvantage, the general community would again be distanced from the legal process.

Professional jury

Juries could be comprised of people who are employed as professional jurors. Because their job would be permanent, these jurors would understand their role, as well as rules of evidence and procedure. Yet, this would distance community members from the legal process.


See also:

Reforms to the jury system

Strengths and weaknesses of the jury system