THE GENESIS OF TRIAL BY JURY IN THE ENGLISH LEGAL SYSTEM
The paper deals with the issues of origin and sustainable historical development of the trial by jury in the English system of laws. The study shows that particular features of ancient judicial institutions, for example, Heliaia, can be found in the contemporary trial by jury. The authors substantiate the thesis that the trial by jury began to develop in England in the period of its conquest by Vikings, but the fundamental principles of the trial by jury have national origins and were established in the earlier period. The paper states that the Great Charter enacted in 1215 and declared the right for courts of peers played a big role in the further development of the trial by jury. The authors admit that the trial by jury in its current forms began to form in the XV century when the function of jurors has completely changed – from evidence in a case to the solution of the case upon its merits. By the latter half of the XVII century, the independence of jurors when rendering a verdict was completely recognized: the landmark decision was made that the jurors cannot incur punishment for their verdict even if the verdict is inconsistent with the judge’s ideas or the evidence in the case. The study shows that in the XVII century, the functions of two self-dependent collegiate organs in the trial by jury were finally dissociated. The jurors began to resolve the questions of fact and the crown judge – the questions of law. The paper analyzes the organizational framework of the functioning of contemporary trial by jury in Great Britain: requirements and limitations for potential jurors, the formation of lists of jurors, the right of the juror rejection motion. Moreover, the paper presents a brief review of the procedural forms of activity of the English trial by jury at present.