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The common law jury through the example of England and the United States

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  1. A common heritage...
    1. The jury originally appeared in the English common law courts
    2. The expansion of the jury was parallel to the spread of the British Empire
  2. ... But two different paths
    1. The jury in England
    2. The jury in the USA

In the common law countries, the jury takes a more prominent part in the judicial process than in the romano-civilist countries. The roots of the common law jury are archaic, but it has managed to survive, and to a considerable extent to thrive. In many common law countries, the right to trial by jury is cherished and its legitimacy is widely accepted. One can even say the jury has had a great influence in the non-common law countries, since some countries such as Spain has recently re-introduced the jury for some criminal trials. But the jury remains a specificity of the common law countries, as we will analyze it. To what extent can we say that the law governing jury in England and in the US differs? Indeed, despite common origins, the jury in the two influential common law countries follow different paths.

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