Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 18th Dec 2012 14:31 UTC
Legal Lots of news about Apple vs. Samsung (and vice versa) in both the US and Europe today. In the US, judge Koh dealth two blows: one to Samsung (no retrial based on juror misconduct), the other to Apple (no permanent sales ban). In Europe, in the meantime, Samsung announced it will cease all lawsuits injunction requests against Apple... But only in Europe.
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RE: Jury qualifications?
by jared_wilkes on Tue 18th Dec 2012 17:17 UTC in reply to "Jury qualifications?"
jared_wilkes
Member since:
2011-04-25

Because this flies in the face of the very foundations of democracy and would cause the entire legal structure to grind to a halt and cease functioning?

If a court could only seat a jury of qualified legal professionals who also happen to be experts in any particular area at question at trial (this could range from computer science, patent law, homicide, forensics, drug trafficking, domestic abuse, psychology, and on and on -- offering covering multiple areas within the same trial), one would likely never face a jury of your peers -- in fact, every court would be very hard pressed to ever fill all the seats in a jury box with such rigorous requirements.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Jury qualifications?
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 18th Dec 2012 17:22 in reply to "RE: Jury qualifications?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Just don't use a jury trial at all. It's a medieval and barbaric practice that has no place in any modern, democratic, just society.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Jury qualifications?
by bowkota on Wed 19th Dec 2012 01:55 in reply to "RE[2]: Jury qualifications?"
bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12

Just don't use a jury trial at all. It's a medieval and barbaric practice that has no place in any modern, democratic, just society.


Errr, the whole the foundation and the logic behind a jury system has everything to do with democratic procedures aiming towards a just outcome.

However, the implementation is certainly archaic especially when it comes to IP law which has become very complex. The average person is not fit for such proceedings as they have little time to get around ideas that people spent an entire college degree learning.

A jury of individuals specialised on the matter at hand might sound reasonable but the problem there is that you're very likely to run into conflict of interest issues.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Jury qualifications?
by M.Onty on Wed 19th Dec 2012 13:06 in reply to "RE[2]: Jury qualifications?"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

Just don't use a jury trial at all. It's a medieval and barbaric practice that has no place in any modern, democratic, just society.


I know you don't like trial by Jury, but it happens to have been a key component of securing liberties in England and Wales during and after the mediaeval age.

Questions;

1) What role have mediaeval English liberties have had in forming the basis of modern Human Rights acts around the world, including in the English Bill of Rights, the US Constitution, the UN and the EU? Discuss.

2) Would liberties be better protected if "the man on the Clapham omnibus" was removed from proceedings, and his tasks passed to a state appointed representative? Discuss.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Jury qualifications?
by saso on Tue 18th Dec 2012 20:33 in reply to "RE: Jury qualifications?"
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

Because this flies in the face of the very foundations of democracy and would cause the entire legal structure to grind to a halt and cease functioning?

There is so much wrong with this statement, I'm almost at a loss as to where to start deconstructing it first.

1) Your statement is just plain false. Jury trials are used pretty much only in common-law systems (containing a small portion of the world's population). Now look at e.g. those poor Europeans! (hint: it's satire) So even without a jury, legal systems seem to work just fine.

2) Democracy is a form of government, which is (hopefully) distinct from the judiciary.

3) Most importantly, and I can't stress this enough: justice isn't a democratic process! We don't get to decide democratically on what the truth is. Justice, like science, is dedicated to the pursuit of truth and what really transpired, otherwise it would just devolve into a tyranny of the majority - see ancient Athens for an experiment in that.

If a court could only seat a jury of qualified legal professionals who also happen to be experts in any particular area at question at trial (this could range from computer science, patent law, homicide, forensics, drug trafficking, domestic abuse, psychology, and on and on -- offering covering multiple areas within the same trial), one would likely never face a jury of your peers -- in fact, every court would be very hard pressed to ever fill all the seats in a jury box with such rigorous requirements.


And yet systems like this (though not precisely as much as the scientific peer review meritocracy) routinely operate in most of the world, i.e. in countries which do not have jury trials, but trials are instead decided by a qualified judge or panel of judges.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Jury qualifications?
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 18th Dec 2012 20:39 in reply to "RE[2]: Jury qualifications?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

but trials are instead decided by a qualified judge or panel of judges.


Jury trials is one of those foreign concepts I just can't wrap my brain around, no matter how much I try. A bunch of idio... Sorry, "peers', who have no desire to do what they do, get to decide guilty or no. Even if you only have a tiny modicum of knowledge about the workings of the human mind, you should know full well how utterly nutterly butterly this is.

Every person who ever ends up in court - traffic violation or murder - should be judged by people who know their shit and who are trained to do so - not by a bunch of bored morons.

Edited 2012-12-18 20:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Jury qualifications?
by jared_wilkes on Tue 18th Dec 2012 21:22 in reply to "RE[2]: Jury qualifications?"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

I was going under the presumption that the original post was arguing for jury trials of vetted experts in the fields covered by the trial. Which I assure you is quite impossible. If your argument is for the elimination of jury trials entirely, that's another matter entirely.

However, I assure you that Americans, if afforded the opportunity to ban all jury trials by their peers, whether intelligent or not, in exchange for a bench trial conducted solely by judicial professionsals, the vast majority are going to choose the idiots... or at least choose to have the idiots as an option whether or not a bench trial benefits them in a particular scenario.

Edited 2012-12-18 21:22 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Jury qualifications?
by jared_wilkes on Wed 19th Dec 2012 00:27 in reply to "RE[2]: Jury qualifications?"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

1) Your statement is just plain false. Jury trials are used pretty much only in common-law systems (containing a small portion of the world's population). Now look at e.g. those poor Europeans! (hint: it's satire) So even without a jury, legal systems seem to work just fine.


1a. Maybe it was a mistake to speak about democracy generally, but I'm not suggesting that because many nations have a judicial system without jury by peer, they cease to be a democracy... However, I am saying that democracy is defined by participation. Yes, through representation in most cases but also active participation. Yes, I believe democracy cannot be epitomized by a government which lacks public/peer participation in the judiciary... particularly when there are functioning democracies which do have it as an option. Thus it is an assault on democracy, generally. Secondarily, it is also an assault on this country's democracy specifically.

1b. And, that is additionally, it would cause our, America's, judicial system to not function because juries would never be finalized (again, I was presuming a hybridized jury-expert replacement. If you, like Thom, can't understand why America is founded under a hybridized common law/civil law system and propose that America drops its judicial system for one it rejected, well... that's so foundational and easy for me to understand, I don't even know where to begin explaining why that is and why that will never change... )

2) Democracy is a form of government, which is (hopefully) distinct from the judiciary.


2. Umm, the judiciary is certainly a part of the government. Democracy can certainly run through it. There is nothing logical about saying: the judicial should not be democratic. Just as the police, the sewers, park services, other utilities, (maybe) medical services, and even the legislative, or (maybe) executive branches of a government are parts of the government. And these representational units of government can and, in most cases, should be democratic -- in some form or another or when appropriate as an option.

3) Most importantly, and I can't stress this enough: justice isn't a democratic process! We don't get to decide democratically on what the truth is. Justice, like science, is dedicated to the pursuit of truth and what really transpired, otherwise it would just devolve into a tyranny of the majority - see ancient Athens for an experiment in that.


3. Justice is best served, most undoubtedly, when it is most democratic. It can only be approximated at all, in society, through democratic processes. You cannot separate justice as simply "the judiciary", apart from the other branches of government. The law is never practiced in an philosophically pure state where the legal/moral code is known, unchanging or where the truth can always be ascertained and agreed upon. Maybe you think that of your own country's non-participatory mode of adjudicating the law... Maybe you are American. I don't know. But I personally find civil law systems (most strictly civil law systems still embody democratic processes despite their lack of juries) just as fallible, if not more so, as common law systems.

For some reason, this is obvious to me: that democratic processes throughout all government functions in conjunction with other representational/civil hybridizations of governmental functioning is always a good -- and that justice, as it was prior to the founding of America and as it is in America since, should never be some technocratic bureaucracy and never will be. I think it's highly flawed and often complete shit, but I still love this system more than any other. Absolutely. I can't really follow your whole -- the judiciary is not a part of the government, it shouldn't be democratic -- line... Different strokes for different folks.

And yet systems like this (though not precisely as much as the scientific peer review meritocracy) routinely operate in most of the world, i.e. in countries which do not have jury trials, but trials are instead decided by a qualified judge or panel of judges.


Again, there was a misunderstanding. If the argument being afforded by the opposition is now: America needs to abandon its common law/civil law hybrid system that affords the option to a jury trial by a panel of your peers and fellow citizens in some cases, then I think we're pretty close to all agreeing that Apple has legally and rightfully sued Samsung in the U.S. for patent, trademark, and trade dress violations.

Edited 2012-12-19 00:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2