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"How should we go about jury research in Scotland?": a response

Thomas, CA; (2016) "How should we go about jury research in Scotland?": a response. Criminal Law Review , 2016 (12) pp. 915-923. Green open access

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Abstract

It is certainly important that research is carried out in Scotland to better understand the workings of the Scottish jury, especially given its unique features. In light of the call by the Post-Corroboration Safeguards Review for reliable empirical evidence about jury decision-making in Scotland, it is all the more important that this research should be done prior to, and inform, any changes made to the Scottish jury system. Unfortunately the research programme set out by Chalmers and Leverick in the previous issue of the Criminal Law Review 1 would fail in its aims to assist this reform process because the authors are confused about how the Review’s questions can be answered through jury research, they fail to appreciate fundamental differences in the research methods used to study juries, and as a consequence they argue for an amendment to the Contempt of Court Act that is completely unnecessary to answer authoritatively the important questions set out by the Post-Corroboration Safeguards Review. In this article I explain the key differences in jury research methods and, based on this, identify which methods are needed to answer the PCSR questions. I also set out the key errors of the research plan devised by Chalmers and Leverick. This is done in the sincere hope that if any jury research is conducted in Scotland to answer the Review’s important questions it is done so based on a proper understanding of which research methods need to be used to answer each of the Review’s questions—and an understanding of why none of this requires any amendment to the contempt of court act.

Type: Article
Title: "How should we go about jury research in Scotland?": a response
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Juries; Jury deliberations; Legal research; Scotland; Verdicts
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1543379
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