Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Avani Terraces - Greenway
Life is looking up

Judge only serious trials consigned to the dustbin of history

By johnboy - 24 June 2011 11

Simon Corbell has announced the passage of his bill to restore the role of juries in judging guilt or innocence for serious crimes.

“I am pleased that a majority of the Assembly has decided to support this important ACT Government reform to judge-alone trials in the ACT,” Mr Corbell said.

“Jury trials are an integral part of our justice system, and this legislation ensures that the most serious offences are subject to scrutiny by a selection of community peers.”

“The ACT currently has the highest rate of judge-alone elections in Australia and this legislation will see a change back to the intended procedure of jury trials being the norm except for in cases where there is significant pre-trial publicity which could prejudice a fair trial or those cases that involve complex and lengthy legal issues.

“Charges of murder, manslaughter, causing death by culpable driving and sexual counts such as possessing child pornography are among the most serious matters a court can hear and they deserve to be heard by a jury.”

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
11 Responses to
Judge only serious trials consigned to the dustbin of history
Eilla 9:33 am 10 Jul 11

Does anyone know when this bill will start applying to trials?

PaulM 4:10 am 03 Jul 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

when people are fully across the facts (ie jurors who have been at the trial and heard the evidence, rather than some of the learned friends who post here) 90% viewed the sentece as either very or fairly appropriate.

Isn’t that the whole point? A jury trial is meant to create confidence that the sentences are fair. “Why, them judges don’t understand then real world!” “Oh really? Well 12 people *just like you* were actually there, heard the whole thing, and decided X. If you or I had been there, we’d probably have concluded the same”.

Skidbladnir 4:10 pm 24 Jun 11

So, its a choice of accepting the terrible decisions of experts, or going back to mob rule?
I would have preferred finding better experts, myself.

How do the powers of stealth jurors and jury nullifiers stand up under Section 21 of the ACT Human Rights Act 2004‘s requirement for trials to be decided by a competent, independent and impartial court?

PS: The Bill did more than just intoduce certain trials to be jury-only trials, it also:
– increases penalties for acts of indecency without consent to seven years.
– increases penalties for acts of indecency without consent in company to nine years.
– increases penalties for possession of child pornography to 700 penalty units\seven years.
– increases penalties for first offence of using the internet etc to deprave young people to seven years.
– increases penalties for using electronic means, send or make available pornographic material to a young person to 700 penalty units or seven years.
– redefines the definition of pornographic material to correctly use Commonwealth Classification Act terminology.

Mysteryman 3:00 pm 24 Jun 11

This is good news.

TVStar 2:08 pm 24 Jun 11

For my crime spree to continue, I’m down to relying on the AFP stuffing up the arrest or evidence, forensics getting contaminated, the DPP not having a prosecutor to send to court on the day of the trial, the judge getting sacked, or – somehow – my human rights being violated somewhere though the process.

If all that fails, I’m hoping for warning and no conviction, or at worst a non-custodial sentence.

I love Canberra!

JennD 1:23 pm 24 Jun 11

I can understand the concept of Justice as being a community creating consequences for those who have done things that caused harm and as such a jury would be the representatives of the community. I also understand that a good lawyer can sway a jury with emotion rather than facts. Judges are trained to assess cases without bringing their emotions in.. How can we avoid something like http://www.petitiononline.com/COM413/petition.html?

GBT 1:21 pm 24 Jun 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

GBT said :

Now if only the jury had a part in sentencing we might see people serving actual jail time for those minor little convictions for, you know, murder and manslaughter.

You may wish to read this: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lawreport/stories/2011/3236416.htm#transcript

Goes into detail about a Tasmanian study which shows that when people are fully across the facts (ie jurors who have been at the trial and heard the evidence, rather than some of the learned friends who post here) 90% viewed the sentece as either very or fairly appropriate.

I was actually speaking specifically about the trend of light sentencing in Canberra, which is what the post refers to.

colourful sydney rac 12:07 pm 24 Jun 11

GBT said :

Now if only the jury had a part in sentencing we might see people serving actual jail time for those minor little convictions for, you know, murder and manslaughter.

You may wish to read this: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lawreport/stories/2011/3236416.htm#transcript

Goes into detail about a Tasmanian study which shows that when people are fully across the facts (ie jurors who have been at the trial and heard the evidence, rather than some of the learned friends who post here) 90% viewed the sentece as either very or fairly appropriate.

Spideydog 11:48 am 24 Jun 11

Now lets see if there is some US style defence attorney “leaking and/or grandstanding” to the media to try and induce unfair media bias to negate a jury trial ………… Yeah, I know, i’ll put the conspiracy theory hat away now 😉

GBT 11:26 am 24 Jun 11

Now if only the jury had a part in sentencing we might see people serving actual jail time for those minor little convictions for, you know, murder and manslaughter.

The Frots 9:41 am 24 Jun 11

I think this is great news. The Judiciary here just were’nt making the grade as far as convictions went (which is great if you’re innocent but really!!!).

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site