Trial by Jury - Past and Present. This was an interesting lecture, offering a good account of the pros and cons of the jury system. It concludes by Her Ladyship advocating a continued role for the jury in criminal trials "of sufficient seriousness to society or to the individual accused to justify the use of resources."
"Justifying the use of resources" may
not prove to be a primrose path for the jury system and it could prove
to be a temptation to politicians who seek to reduce the amount of money
spent on justice. It begs the obvious question as to what level of
seriousness will justify the use of a jury. A commonly offered example
is low-value theft where some argue that the right of defendants to
elect for jury trial should be abolished. The right remains but recent
reforms to the law in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 s.176 should be noted - (Explanatory Notes).
A further proposal that the defendant could waive the right to have a jury appeared in Sir Brian Leveson's Review of Efficiency in Criminal Proceedings (January 2015) - The Guardian 18th June 2015 It is also relevant to read Lord Justice Auld's 2002 Criminal Courts Review in which he made several important points about juries.