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Thread: Death of trial by jury

  1. #1

    Death of trial by jury

    The innocence project have been monitoring the courts and believe the current situation is emblematic of a judicial system which is trying to disavow the right to trial by jury in New Zealand. Court cases throughout New Zealand are at an all time low. Is it not curious that jury trials are said to be impeding swift justice in New Zealand? (see related article on jury trials causing backlog in Wellington).

    Innocence project considers these arguments have been used before - and that history has demonstrated the swift justice which occurs without the disciplining influence of jury by one's peers is an abomination on natural justice. The powerful judicial lobby in New Zealand - the Rules Committee - is behind this despicable propaganda. Since the loss of the Privy Council, appeals are being refused at an unprecedented rate [reference needed]

  2. #2
    The so-called system of justice imposed on us in this land today bears little resemblance to that in place some 300 years ago in the UK. For example, discussing the common law court Matthew Hale says
    "That by this Course of personal and open Examination, there is Opportunity for all Persons concern'd, viz. The Judge, or any of the Jury, or Parties, or their Council or Attornies, to propound occasional Questions, which beats and boults out the Truth much better than when the Witness only delivers a formal Series of his Knowledge without being interrogated; and on the other Side, preparatory, limited, and formal Interrogatories in Writing, preclude this Way of occasional Interrogations, and the best Method of searching and sifting out the Truth is choak'd and suppress'd."

    See "The History of the Common Law of England by Matthew Hale, 1713" at

    Inquisitorial, not adversarial as is now the case. Cheaper and quicker too according to Matthew Hale
    "And as this Method is more certain, so it is much more expeditious and cheap; for oftentimes the Session of one Commission for the Examination of Witnesses for one Cause in the
    Ecclesiastical Courts, or Courts of Equity, lasts as long as a whole Session of Nisi prius, where a Hundred Causes are examined and tried. And thus much concerning Trials in Civil Causes. As for Trials in Causes Criminal, they have this further Advantage, That regularly the Accusation, as preparatory to the Trial, is by a Grand Jury: So that as no Man's Interest, according to the Course of the Common Law, is to be tried or determined without the Oaths of a Jury of twelve Men; so no Man's Life is to be tried but by the Oaths of Twelve Men, and by the Preparatory Accusation or Indictment by Twelve Men or more precedent to his Trial, unless it be in the Case of an Appeal at the Suit of the Party."

    No doubt stripping us of Grand Juries was also a change made (1961 I think) to "expedite justice". The people weren't the engine of change. Rather, politicians and lawyers effected changes and over time the justice system became the injustice system, or as I have seen written, the "just-us" system.

    Perhaps when the people claim their Sovereignty from the usurpers a justice system can be implemented. I wonder how fascist a government has to become and how much suffering people will endure before critical mass in the population is reached and change is enforced.

  3. #3
    Without going into the non merits of the summary court and the very dubious so called sentencing indications that are being given (those indications to not meet international standards), I absolutely agree here in New Zealand our jury system is under attack, it is all we have, if we give that process up and give that role to Judicial Offers we have sitting alone then we are as they say "we are up for grabs", we need to question those in Authority and remain sceptical, the standards of most lawyers is also questionable and as a result our liberties and freedoms are literally out of the frying pan and in the fire".

    The only saving grace for those unfortunate enough to be charged is a jury, but that system is clearly under threat as can be demonstrated with our urgent need to build new prisons.

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