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Jury Impartiality in Canada - Essay Example

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Juries are used mainly for criminal trails in Canada and there is a limit to the criminal trials a jury can be used for. Less serious cases do not require the services of the jury and a judge presides and makes judgment of these cases. In serious cases, the accused people have the right to choose on whether their cases to be presided over by a jury or a judge…
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Jury Impartiality in Canada
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Download file to see previous pages Other matters which are deemed are relevant have to be passed and other pertinent questions must be approved by a judge. Juries do not have the power to award damages and hence are not used in civil cases.
The juries in the Republic of Canada have portrayed that they cannot be impartial in passing judgments in various cases due to prejudices against either the victim or the defendant. This paper will look into why this situation is prevailing and how it can be alleviated to ensure the judgments passed are just to both the victim and the defendant. To this effect there have been a number of cases in which the juries have passed judgments through the consideration of other aspects rather than the facts and objectivity. A good example are the cases where there is favoritism based on various aspects of discrimination like gender, age, race and others. The most prevalent is the discrimination based on sex and race in the country.
In Canada, for one to qualify to serve as a jury, one must be nineteen years old or older. One must also be a citizen of Canada and must be a resident of the province in which the case is being heard in. Jury selection is attended by various people including the accused, the lawyer of the accused, crown counsel and the staff of the court. Twelve jurors are chosen for a particular case. After the charges have been led by the court clerk to the accused, the accused will either plead guilty or innocence and the jurors are then chosen if the accused pleads not guilty. The jurors are informed of when the case will start and the expected day of finalizing (Izzett, 1974).
Jurors who are selected for a particular case have to be screened and this means that the jurors will have to undergo some profiling so as to be deemed to be impartial in a particular case. Being impartial means that the particular juror will not be in a position to favor any side of the case. This means that the juror will have be free of any prejudice and favoritism attitude towards the various parties involved in the case. This is very important for justice to prevail in any case (Paglia, 1998).


Jury Representativeness
It is important for a jury selected for a particular case to be representative. Towards this end, it is important for the jury selectors to have a list of people who will ensure that representation of all involved parties is maximized and this means that exclusion and bias have to be eliminated from the picture as much as possible. The administration of the legal system in Canada needs to be reviewable and accountable so as to ensure that there is inclusion in the jury selection of all cases and trials in the various jurisdictions in the country. The traditional methods of selecting the jurors from electoral roles should be done away with and in its place more appropriate use of community groups to come up with the lists of potential jurors for various cases in the provinces. Disqualifications and exclusions should decrease in number as these only give rise to the selection of stereotypes and biases. Inclusion should be intensified so as exclusion on such grounds as sex, race, age, abilities, sexual orientations, ethnic origin and religion ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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