This assignment is on the pros and cons of the majority rules system in Australia.

Essay by David_of_DeathHigh School, 10th gradeA-, April 2006

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Majority Rules Verdict

A. Outline the reasons that have lead to this law being changed.

The Majority Rules Verdict is in effect in a handful of states in Australia. The main reasons for changing the standard laws for jury Verdicts to Majority Rules, is that it is very expensive to keep 12 jurors penned up in a hotel for a few days to even weeks, all because one person refuses to agree with the rest. Another important reason is that the Majority Rules Verdict is less time consuming and will allow for more cases to be heard. Also it is important that the jurors can get back to their normal lives, instead of days penned up in a hotel about a case.

B.Discuss the effects (both positive and negative) this law change will have on the community


- One reason is to minimise the number of juries that hang.

If your jury hangs, you feel you have wasted the court's time; wasted money and more importantly wasted your own time.

- Cases involving hung juries don't have to take many days to resolve the problems. Thus, cases can be heard and a verdict can be a lot quicker if majority rules verdict is used.

- Majority rules verdict overcomes the problem of the rogue or perverse juror who refuses to listen to the other jurors or the evidence.


-In rare circumstances, someone may be wrongly sentenced because of the majority rules verdict. Where the one person against the jury could have actually convinced the rest of the jury.

-It upholds the requirement of proof beyond reasonable doubt. Allowing a juror to dissent from a verdict of guilty means that at least one juror had a reasonable doubt, which can create uncertainty in the conviction.

C. Write a letter...