Jury Trial

Open to debate

Are criminal trials too important to be decided by professional judges alone? That question is increasingly being asked - and answered - in various northeast Asian jurisdictions. South Korea has used non-binding 'consultative' juries since 2008.

Saturday, 3 September, 2011, 12:00am

Justice of peers

What role, if any, should ordinary citizens play in determining guilt and punishment in criminal cases? Some Chinese courts, dissatisfied with the mixed tribunals of one judge and two lay assessors that hear many of their cases, have been experimenting with so-called people's juries whom they consult before making decisions.

20 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

The jury's out

To what extent should ordinary people decide the guilt and punishment of alleged criminals? Is criminal justice too serious to be left to career judges? Trial by a jury of one's peers is one of the most fundamental rights of citizens of the common law world, including Hong Kong.

16 Mar 2011 - 12:00am

Debate needed on extending jury system

Trial by jury is a treasured feature of our system of justice. But, mainly for historical reasons, juries are not available to defendants at the District Court. There, they are tried by a judge alone, who can jail them for up to seven years. The circumstances that gave rise to this exception more than 50 years ago have changed, so extending the jury system is an option.

18 Nov 2009 - 12:00am

Convictions row should prompt reflection

Hong Kong is rightly proud of its independent and impartial judiciary and reputation for fair resolution of court cases. So when a leading lawyer attacks the apparently high conviction rate in the higher courts, even comparing it to North Korea, this naturally sparks controversy.

19 Sep 2009 - 12:00am

The right to jury service or the right to vote?

The system of trial by jury, whereby fellow members of the community decide on the guilt or innocence of a suspect, was introduced into Asia through the expansion of British colonialism. But, now that the British empire is gone, few former British colonies have opted to retain the jury system. Hong Kong is one exception.

27 May 2008 - 12:00am

Broadening pool of jurors would not lead to better court decisions

I don't support the idea that every effort has to be made to make juries as inclusive as possible ('Our jury system must be strengthened', January 29).

In Hong Kong's court system, the jury is only set up in the Court of First Instance in the High Court.

9 Feb 2008 - 12:00am

Lawyers and doctors reject change to jury exemption

Professionals see good reasons for being excused court duty

Lawyers and the head of Hong Kong's largest medical group voiced their opposition yesterday to having members of their professions serve as jurors.

28 Aug 2007 - 12:00am

Time to widen the pool of jurors

It is fair to say that an impoverished mother accused of stealing handbags to help her sick child might not view seven well-dressed urban professionals - all linguists to boot - as her peers, even in the widest context.

24 Feb 2003 - 12:00am

Juries can prevent miscarriages of justice

I do not think we should be too concerned about the new laws to be enacted under Article 23 of the Basic Law.

We should not forget that in addition to having an independent Judiciary in Hong Kong, we have a jury system.

29 Nov 2002 - 12:00am

Jurors treated in cavalier fashion

I was recently summoned for jury service.

6 Dec 2001 - 12:00am

Consistency desired

Open justice is one of the most fundamental tenets of any fair legal system. That means justice must not only be done but also seen to be done, a task in which the press plays a vital role.

14 Aug 1996 - 12:00am