Saturday, November 26, 2005

No-jury trial plan 'presses on'

People trust juries more than they trust elected representatives. Juries may well be the most trusted element of our civil society. That's odd really, because they are chosen at random. They don't select themselves by applying for the job. Nor are they selected by politicians. They are also a very ancient institution. Most people in Britain have served on one, and they don't lose their faith in the course of the experience. This, despite the fact that they cost personal time and money. Voting, on the other hand, costs nothing. Yet almost no-one now believes in it or trusts its outcome.

Oddly, the House of Lords also performed better when selected by genetic lottery than when chosen on the crony principle by the Prime Minister. Even now, secure from the withdrawal of party support, the Lords consistently perform better than the democratically-elected House of Commons.

Far from undermining jury trial, perhaps we should be extending the principle behind it? Rather than voting, let's select 650 members of the House of Commons entirely at random. We would get a much better cross-section of the community; there would be the "right" numbers of women and ethnic minorities. There would be no such thing as a political career. We would not have nearly so many Scots in Parliament and the odds of getting any members of a political party would be derisory.

BBC NEWS | Politics | No-jury trial plan 'presses on'

1 comment:

Bag said...

An interesting suggestion to chose MPs at random. It would of course lead us away from democracy 'The will of the people' but it would probably allow better real democracy than the farce we have now. I await a vote on the issue. Maybe you should enter politics just to propose this.