I’ve had a couple of letters recently from constituents stressing the importance of trial by jury – it’s a human right to be judged by our peers, they’ve argued. Seemed fair enough. But then I gave it some thought and checked the interweb with the Googleatron. It turns out that in England and Wales, 80% of court cases have no jury. In Scotland, over three-quarters of jail sentences similarly involve no jury.
Clearly, no-one’s proposing removing the right of jury trial for the most serious stuff. But it’s interesting to consider what kind of ‘right’ we do have to trial by jury in cases where the public seems confident that justice can be served by a non-jury trial.