Saturday 3 December 2016

At long last, some spice to invigorate long-suffering jury

Jude Law was the star attraction at the tabloid trial which is due to last for six months, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards

Published 02/02/2014 | 02:30

I've done jury service twice and found the experience well worth while, but court proceedings can be very boring indeed. Which, of course, is one of the reasons why so many people unethically dodge their duty.

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When I'm following a long case, I feel empathy for the hapless jurors as they try to follow what's going on, to avoid being bamboozled by clever, sometimes unscrupulous lawyers and to make up their minds on the basis of the evidence laid before them, not on emotion.

These days, in high-profile cases, jurors have the additional problem that social media are abuzz and search engines awash with relevant information which is forbidden them. This must be excruciating for the three men and nine women trapped in an Old Bailey courtroom since late October to consider the case loosely known as the News of the World (NOTW) hacking trial.

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