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Scottish Jury Research: Findings from a Large Scale Mock Jury Study – An interactive discussion on the implications of this work for potential criminal justice reforms
Monday 09 December 2019
05:45pm - 07:15pm
Professor James Chalmers plus Scottish Government
Seminar Details:

Discussion details

The event will begin with a short presentation by Professor Chalmers on the main jury research findings followed by interactive table discussions (facilitated by Scottish Government officials) on delegates’ views on implications of these findings and their own experiences for the criminal justice system and potential criminal justice reforms.

A 7 page summary of the findings can be found at this address and delegates will find it useful to consider this in advance  

This event is part of widespread engagement across the country with justice organisations, legal professionals, the third sector and people with experience of the criminal justice system to seek views on the findings and any implications these may have for future criminal justice reforms.


Scottish Jury Research: Findings From a Large-Scale Mock Jury Study involved 64 mock juries and 969 individual participants. It is the first to consider the unique nature of the Scottish jury system with 15 jurors, three verdicts and a simple majority. The report sets out the researchers’ findings but does not make any recommendations.

The study of Scotland’s jury system suggests that:

  • reducing jury size from 15 to 12, as is the norm in most English language jurisdictions, might lead to more individual jurors switching their position towards the majority view.
  • asking juries to reach a unanimous or near unanimous verdict might tilt more jurors in favour of acquittal.
  • removing the not proven verdict might incline more jurors towards a guilty verdict in finely balanced trials.
  • jurors hold inconsistent views on the meaning of not proven and how it differs from not guilty.

The study was commissioned by the Scottish Government in response to Lord Bonomy’s Post Corroboration Safeguards Review, which recommended that research should be carried out to ensure that any changes to Scotland’s jury system should be made only on a fully informed basis, including the impact having a three verdict system has on decision making.

James Chalmers is Regius Professor of Law at the University of Glasgow. He was a member of the Reference Group for Lord Bonomy’s Post-Corroboration Safeguards Review and chaired the Academic Expert Group for that review, and was also a member of the research team which carried out the Scottish Jury Research project.


There is no booking fee for this event but as this will involve discussions at tables, the numbers attending require to be confirmed in advance. To confirm your attendance, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name and organisation by 3rd December.

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