Saturday, 16 May 2009

The wonder of juries

This is good news. They're gradually being forced back into the box.

According to an eminent jurist or two, jury trial is the most important bulwark between liberty and state tyranny. But thank God it already exists. I can't see today's Government of meddlers, know-better-than-thou's, Stalinists, technocrats, control-freaks and cronies inventing it.

Can you imagine?

"So, you're saying we should get a focus group in to provide some cover for whatever the judge wants, right?"

"No, they'll decide whether the accused is guilty or not."

"Oh. So they'll be carefully selected from a panel, lay experts with an insight in the field. Mmmm, could be expensive. We'll need an appointments board. They'll need some researchers too."

"No, they'll just be random people. Mind you, we should exclude criminals and the insane."

"Too right! But, you can't be serious: what the fuck are a bunch of the great unwashed going to know about anything? How can we be sure it'll be done properly?"

"Er, that's the point. You can't."


Kevin Musgrove said...

A friend is a lecturer in jurisprudence. This lot's created more work than the previous mob since Sir Robert Peel put together

Gadjo Dilo said...

Very consisely put. And I can't imagine a film called "Twelve Calm and Confident Government Appointees" being made either.

Gaw said...

Regardless of the expenses row, British politics doesn't feel well, does it? All this hyperactivity is a form of displacement activity. It's easier to legislate than administrate and it gets more headlines, creating the illusion of achievement. It also helps our MPs to describe themselves as 'hard working'. I'd rather they did a lot less but did it in a thorough, independent, self-denying and thoughtful fashion.