Q&As

Can a jury in a complex fraud trial or case attracting media attention be given a questionnaire to determine their impartiality and ability to judge the defendant on the evidence they hear?

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Published on LexisPSL on 21/11/2013

The following Corporate Crime Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a jury in a complex fraud trial or case attracting media attention be given a questionnaire to determine their impartiality and ability to judge the defendant on the evidence they hear?

Juries are selected at random from the electoral roll and usually are those who live within a reasonable travelling distance from the court. Juries may be given a questionnaire at the point they are to be sworn to determine any connections with the defendant, victim, victim's company and witnesses. The SFO Operational Handbook refers to this being common practice to ensure impartiality. The types of questions which the SFO guidance suggests are those in respect of any connection with the defendant and witnesses but commonly details of victims and the victim's companies are also relevant. Juries in high profile cases may be provided with a questionnaire to determine how much they know of the case through media reporting so that their impartiality can be assessed.

In  R v Kray and Others (1969) 53 Cr App Rep 412, Lawton J permitted defence counsel to ask potential jurors questions because pre-trial publicity preceding the defendants' trial for murder had not only included the fact that the K

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