Letter: Trial by jury

Sir: The late Lord Devlin, arguably the greatest judge of the century, was a powerful defender of trial by jury.

He said: "Each jury is a little parliament. The jury sense is the parliamentary sense. I cannot see the one dying and the other surviving. The first object of any tyrant in Whitehall would be to make parliament utterly subservient to his will; and the next to overthrow or diminish trial by jury, for no tyrant could afford to leave a subject's freedom in the hands of 12 of his countrymen. So that trial by jury is more than an instrument of justice and more than one wheel of the constitution; it is the lamp that shows that freedom lives."

GRAHAM DON

Barrister at Law

London E3

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