Jury Trial

A trial is where the case against the accused is put before a jury of twelve people who decide on the facts of the case. The prosecution get all their witnesses to come along and give evidence and produce any other evidence that they have in their possession.

An accused can give evidence (tell their version of events) at their trial if they want to do so. There is no obligation to do so.

Trials have a lot of procedure surrounding them, such as selecting a jury, and they inevitably will go for a number of days. Depending on the complexity of the matter and the number of witnesses they can continue for long periods of time.

Sexual offending is a very complex part of the law and the Judge will have to make long explanations to the jury of all the relevant law that they have to apply.

At the end of trial the jury will come back with a verdict of guilty or not guilty. To start with they they have to be unanimous in their verdict. After a period of time the Judge can allow them to reach a majority verdict of 10 in favour, or 10 against, an acquittal.

If the jury can not get to a majority decision then the jury is known as a "hung" jury and the process starts again.

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