Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Comparative legal system

You could begin by polling students about the value of juries or asking them to make a list of pros and cons of juries. Then assign this Economist article and discuss any changes in their attitudes.

The jury is out

"European countries are restricting jury trials; Asian ones expanding them

"MARK TWAIN regarded trial by jury as 'the most ingenious and infallible agency for defeating justice that human wisdom could contrive'. He would presumably approve of what is happening in Russia and Britain. At the end of 2008, Russia abolished jury trials for terrorism and treason. Britain, the supposed mother of trial by jury, is seeking to scrap them for serious fraud and to ban juries from some inquests. Yet China, South Korea and Japan are moving in the opposite direction, introducing or extending trial by jury in a bid to increase the impartiality and independence of their legal systems..."

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