Liam Herrick, executive director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), argues that the non-jury Special Criminal Court must be abolished. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties has opposed the use of the Special Criminal Court since our foundation. The weakening of fair trial rights and us
Sinn Féin has softened its historic position of opposition to the Special Criminal Court, with members agreeing a new position that non-jury trials should only take place in "exceptional circumstances". The party has traditionally called for the non-jury court, established in the late 1930s t
Plans for jury service reforms including the introduction of juror expenses and the extension of eligibility to some non-citizens have effectively been shelved, according to reports. The working group on jury service, which was established in 2018 to consider recommendations made by the Law Reform C
Juries should be cut from 12 members to seven in order to clear the Covid-19 backlog of criminal cases in England and Wales, Labour has said. The call follows a joint report from the police, prosecutors, prisons and probation inspectorates, which said the "unprecedented and very serious" backlog in
Jury trials and other courts and tribunals hearings will continue to be held following the imposition of new Covid-19 restrictions, Justice Minister Naomi Long has said. The Northern Ireland Executive has announced a significant tightening of public health restrictions for a six-week period starting
The UK government has launched a public consultation on the continued use of non-jury trials in Northern Ireland until 2023. Under the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007, the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland can decide when a trial should take place without a jury.
Jury trials and other courts and tribunals business are continuing in Northern Ireland following the tightening of Covid-19 restrictions on Friday. Crown Court trials have resumed at six courthouse locations since August in the Laganside courts complex in Belfast and at Antrim, Craigavon, Newry, Col
Lawyers have welcomed an extension of jury trials to include a total of six court venues across Northern Ireland. Trials are now taking place in the Laganside Courts in Belfast as well as in Antrim, Craigavon, Newry, Coleraine and Dungannon Courthouses.
Jury trials have resumed in Northern Ireland for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in March. Following physical alternations to allow jury trials to take place in line with public health guidelines, a jury trial has begun in Laganside Court in Belfast, and five more Crown Court v
The Northern Ireland Executive should be "very slow to interfere" with the current 12-person jury in criminal trials in the face of the COVID-19 backlog, an experienced criminal lawyer has said. According to newspaper reports over the weekend, a reduction in the size of juries from 12 to seven or ni
Barristers in Northern Ireland have reportedly been told that the size of juries in criminal cases could be reduced from 12 to nine or seven members to help clear the COVID-19 backlog. The Office of the Lord Chief Justice, the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service, The Bar of Northern Irelan
New Nightingale-style courts will be opened to deal with the backlog of more than half a million criminal cases that have built up during the pandemic, The Times reports. Ten sites have been identified by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), amongst them town halls and university lecture theatres, wh
Tom O'Malley, a law lecturer and barrister with expertise in criminal law, sentencing, criminal procedure and constitutional law, looks at an interesting English experiment in virtual jury trials. The resumption of jury trials for serious criminal offences is probably the biggest difficulty facing t
Suggestions that ordinary criminal trials should take place without juries or with a smaller number of jurors during the COVID-19 emergency have been rejected by The Bar of Ireland. In a submission to the Courts Service, the barristers' body said the "draconian measure" of reducing the number of jur
Tom O'Malley, a law lecturer and barrister with expertise in criminal law, sentencing, criminal procedure and constitutional law, considers whether the use of non-jury trials in Ireland can be expanded. It has recently been reported that the Bar Council of Ireland has been considering whether ordina