This is one of those tricky ones where neither the sender nor I know much about it and yet it should probably be put to readers, in the hope they can throw some light on it.
Mark from Mayenne wrote:
One of the features of the British jury system is that it was set up to help ensure that nobs could not arbitrarily lock up an ordinary citizen.
On the one hand 12 of his peers have to find him guilty. On the other hand a jury has the right to find a defendant not guilty regardless of the evidence against him, if they think the nobs are trying to take the piss with a law that restricts the freedoms of the common man. They can thereby change the law. Not a lot of people know that.
This right has a special name though I don’t know what it is offhand. There is not much point my talking about it on my blog that is not widely read, but I’d think that if you mentioned it, word might spread.
It would seem to me to be within the libertarian remit of your blog to mention that the iniquitous laws now in place that restrict freedom of speech can be overturned by the ordinary citizen.
I live in hope of seeing a jury find someone not guilty who is in flagrant beach of this kind of law.
Can you give me some context, some specifics of this?
I don’t know much about this, but here is a website that describes the origins, in the case of William Penn that was the first situation in which this right was excercised, and that became part of the British constitution. http://prorev.com/juries.htm This link to the Guardian has some comment on a more recent case during the Falklands war. http://www.guardian.co.uk/notesandqueries/query/0,5753,-26646,00.html
It would seem that it is well within a jury’s rights to find a defendant not guilty regardless of the evidence, if they do not feel inclined to do so. However I don’t know if this means that the law is permanently changed. But it certainly means that one doesn’t need to be lobbying politicians and civil servant; an education of the public would be enough.
I think that it means in the USA, the jury could find the wikkileaks soldier not guilty if they thought he acted in the public’s interest.
I’d agree but am a bit nonplussed how to find out much about it. It certainly should be explored and I’ll try to do so. Can any readers help out here?
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