Spouses of superior court judges The Registrar of the High Court confirms the

Spouses of superior court judges the registrar of the

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Spouses of superior court judges The Registrar of the High Court confirms the List of Jurors in February every two years. Jury service is considered an important civic duty ; hence, a request to be removed from the jurors’ list either permanently or for a specified period will rarely be successful. The minimum number of jurors is 5; a jury of 7 (and up to 9) jurors are sworn for criminal trials . An accused may challenge not more than 5 jurors without cause , and any for cause . 97 98
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50 Jury Trial In a criminal trial before the Court of First Instance , it is the jury rather than the judge who determines the guilt of the accused on the basis of the facts: The role of the judge is to moderate the proceedings . After all the closing speeches the judge will sum up the case to the jury. Only in rare cases will the judge direct the jury to acquit, if the evidence has made it unsafe to convict. If the jury convicts , then the judge will proceed to the mitigation and sentencing phases . Sentencing is solely the judge’s responsibility . Independence of the Jury Jurors must ‘act independently, fairly and impartially.’ ( HKSAR v Chan Huandai (2016)). An employer who terminates or threatens to terminate or discriminates against any employee due to his or her service as a juror is criminally liable and punishable by fines up to HK$25,000 and up to 3 months’ imprisonment. The role of the judge in a jury trial is not to find facts or issue a verdict, but to explain the law to jurors . In exceptional cases, a judge may direct the jury to acquit the accused. But no judge has power to direct a jury to convict . 99 100
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51 Size of jury Minimum number of jurors required for a verdict to convict 5 Jurors 5 Jurors 6 Jurors 5 Jurors 7 Jurors 5 Jurors 8 Jurors 6 Jurors 9 Jurors 7 Jurors If there are 3 or more in the minority this is known as the “ hung jury” and the trial is abandoned. It is then up to the prosecution whether to request a retrial . The doctrine of ‘jury equity’: Jurors to deliver verdicts based on their conscience : if they believe the letter of the law is unduly harsh , or if they feel special sympathy for the accused . Juries do not give reasons for their verdicts. An acquittal by a jury may not be appealed against . Jury equity is considered the last line of defence against oppressive prosecution whereby jurors can rescue a deserving defendant. 101 102
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52 Jury equity has reinforced skepticism that verdicts may be based on irrelevant factors, e.g.: Defendant’s appearance The personality of counsel (including the prosecutor) Personal bias for or against law enforcement Media influence HKSAR v Chau Yui Ming (2018), the Court of Appeal (Macrae VP): “In my judgment, as an appellate court, we must proceed on the premise that the jury will have faithfully abide by and obeyed the judge’s instructions. For appellate courts to yield too easily to the notion that they might not is to erode trust in our jury system and
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