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individual & court system

'Juries have had their day. Justice is too important to be left in the hands of 12 amateurs who would rather be elsewhere and lack judgement and expertise.'

The theory behind the use of juries in the justice system is that a group of randomly chosen citizens will represent the will of the entire community. Therefore, theoretically at least, the community as a whole controls the justice system. However, there is argument in favour of replacing juries with informed experts who are better qualified to serve justice in a group of people, because most jurors'would rather be elsewhere and lack judgement and expertise'. In contrast, some argue that the existing justice system works as desired, and so should not be changed. In order to examine the merits of both arguments, the advantages and disadvantages of juries must be compared, as must the advantages and disadvantages of replacing juries with experts.

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The main advantage of using juries in the justice system is that, supposedly, the views of the community are reflected in this group of people. By randomly selecting people for jury duty, it is hoped that these people will be representative of the will of the wider community, quite similar in theory to a parliament. The reason that this is said to be an advantage of using juries is that the aim of justice, in the criminal sense, is to protect the community as a whole from undesirable danger, therefore the members of the a community should be able to serve justice themselves. For example, a jury sentenced Tasmanian gunman Martin Bryant to life imprisonment, and this finding was met with resounding approval by the public, demonstrating the effectiveness of using a jury. Unfortunately, the will and views of any community are not defined clearly, and are usually quite diverse, and thus it is doubtful that every jury's findings represent the will of the majority in a community. However, positive public reaction to…

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