By Marijke Malsch
This paintings examines lay participation within the management of justice and the way it displays definite democratic rules. a global comparative point of view is taken for exploring how lay individuals are excited by the trial of felony situations in ecu nations and the way this affects on their views of the nationwide criminal platforms. Comparisons among international locations are made concerning how and to what volume lay participation happens. The relation among lay participation and the felony system's legitimacy is analyzed. The e-book offers the result of interviews with either specialist judges and lay members in a couple of ecu international locations concerning their perspectives at the involvement of lay humans within the criminal approach. The ways that judges and lay humans have interaction whereas attempting situations are explored. The features of either specialist and lay judging of instances are tested.
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Additional info for Democracy in the Courts (International and Comparative Criminal Justice)
In a situation where all relevant groups in society, and not only an elite, form part of the judiciary, impartiality can be expected to increase. In legal systems that make use of a jury or of lay judges, a more extensive and comprehensive group of people participates in the adjudication of cases than in the case of an exclusively professional judiciary. The circles in society from which the members of a jury and the lay judges are drawn should therefore not only be representative of the better educated.
The mixed court of first instance (at the District Court, Amtsgericht) tries criminal cases for which punishments between two and four years can be imposed. If a lower penalty is expected, a single judge deals with the case. At the District Court the composition is two lay participants (Schöffen) and one professional judge. In more serious cases, as well as in appeal at the Landgericht, two or three professional judges try cases together with two lay judges. In certain complex cases the number of professional judges is increased to a total of five judges (Grosse Strafkammer of the Landgericht).
Lay judges make all decisions in cooperation with the professional judge or judges. They have the right to ask questions during the trial, but they seldom do so. In principle, the two lay judges can overrule the professional judge should they hold an opinion on the case that differs from that of the chairperson. In such a situation, the chairperson may put the case against Lay Adjudication in European Countries 37 a decision that is not correct in his or her opinion. He or she can convince the lay participants that their opinion is wrong and that an appeal may be instituted by the Prosecution.