Could Covid-19 call for further debate on Trial by Judge Alone?

by Adrian Kayne

In light of the serious threat currently posed by the Omicron variant and the challenges this may present to the effective management of Crown Court trials in England and Wales in the months ahead, is it time to consider whether there might be a renewed appetite for judge-alone trials in the Crown Court?

Particularly, could accused persons be given the option to waive their right to trial by jury and to opt instead for a judge-alone trial if they wish? Or might such change represent a dangerous thin end of the wedge to the erosion of jury trial for those accused of serious offences? In this article, we examine some of these issues while conducting a comparative analysis of the position in a selection of other common law jurisdictions.

Adrian Kayne is experienced as both a Junior and Leading Junior in the following principle practice areas: Fraud and Financial Crime, Homicide, Organised Crime, Sexual Offences, Confiscation, Appeals & General Crime.

 

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You might also be interested in our article examining the impact that Covid is having on sentencing.
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