Helping Jurors Understand

The Honourable Mr. Justice David Watt

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Helping Jurors Understand is an invaluable resource to both judges and lawyers, either on its own, or as the perfect companion to the Ontario Specimen Jury Instructions (Criminal) and Watts Manual of Criminal Jury Instructions. By examining the criminal trial process and the jurors role in it, this book helps explain how judges and lawyers can ensure jurors understand the case they are trying and thereby render an informed decision. This book is designed to take the reader through the issues facing judges when giving instructions and facing juries when they receive them. Chapters include: Introduction Describes the system in which the participants (judges, lawyers and jurors) find themselves, and highlights the issues that this system presents in rendering an informed decision. Increasing Juror Participation Looks at ways juries can be more involved in the process and what this may mean. Educating Jurors Introduces the reader to jury instructions and their role in helping guide juries. Instructions Preliminary, Mid-Trial, and Final Addresses the specific issues associated with jury instructions at specific times during the trial. Putting Together the Finals Looks at the judges role, and obligation, in ensuring that the final instructions are organized in a logical and coherent manner so that they are of maximum benefit to the parties. Instructions During Deliberations Provides further guidance on how to modify and/or frame further instructions, which fit with previous instructions, based on counsel objections and/or juror questions.


Practice Area:
Criminal Law and Procedure


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