liberal studies

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 October, 2009, 12:00am

Reading comprehension

Answer the following questions:

1 What was Clive Grossman's concerns over the city's conviction rate?

a. It was too low

b. It was too high

c. It was too cheap

d. It was too expensive

e. He had no concerns

2 What is the purpose of juries?

a. A way for the community to get revenge on criminals

b. To provide entertainment to the community

c. To interpret laws

d. To make sure laws are still relevant to the community

e. To decide which evidence to hear

3 Circle the requirements to serve as a jury member.

a. Must understand English language

b. Ethnically Chinese

c. Aged 21 to 65 years old

d. Sound mind

e. Christian

4 Circle the problems some jurors experience while sitting, according to the article.

a. Sore back

b. Complicated evidence

c. Lengthy and repetitive cross-examinations

d. Language problems

e. Poor compensation for their time

5 What are jurors not allowed to do, according to the article?

a. Keep a blog of their experience

b. Discuss deliberations with other jurors

c. Visit crime scenes

d. Learn about the case from other sources

e. Read law books

Think about

1 What were some alternatives to jury systems in the past? What were the pros and cons? Think about what resources a jury or non-jury legal system requires and how fast they can process cases.

2 Should decisions be made by jury? What else could replace the jury system? What would be the knock-on effects?

3 Who should qualify to serve as jurors? What qualities should they possess?

4 Should anyone be banned from jury duty? Should gender or religion be an issue in jury selection?

5 Is jury duty a hassle or a public service? What should be the grounds for opting out of jury duty?

6 Should cases in Hong Kong be heard in only Cantonese or only English? Should there be translation or simulcast translation?

Follow-up activities

1 Watch the film Twelve Angry Men and discuss how critical thinking affects the outcome of the movie.

2 Draw up arguments for both sides of a fictional case. Present it to eight or 12 classmates and ask them to debate the facts and arrive at a conclusion. Appoint a jury foreman to mediate any arguments.

3 Attend a trial at your local court, tribunal or magistracy - visit www.judiciary.gov.hk and look under 'Court lists' and 'Daily case list' for times and venues. Remember to be quiet, switch off your mobile phone and bow to the judge when entering.

Answers:

October 20

Reading comprehension: 1. c, 2. d, 3. b, 4. c