The Greens legal affairs boffin, Shane Rattenbury, has announced Green support for the Government’s push to end judge only trials of cases involving death and sex.
“We support a strong role for jury trials in the criminal justice system because there is real value in brining community standards into the decisions our courts make”, Shane Rattenbury said.
“More than half of the criminal trials in the ACT take place with no jury and we do think that is an issue that needs to be addressed.
“Having more jury trials will also foster greater community acceptance of verdicts handed down because it is twelve ordinary people who have reached agreement, not just a single judge.
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“In coming to our decision to support the proposal we have taken into account the concerns of the legal profession who are wary of the changes. We understand they are concerned to reduce the potential for media to prejudice potential jurors. However, we are satisfied that there are sufficient checks and balances already in place in existing laws to make the transition a smooth one”, Shane Rattenbury said.