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By Marijke Malsch

This paintings examines lay participation within the management of justice and the way it displays yes democratic ideas. a global comparative point of view is taken for exploring how lay everyone is interested in the trial of legal circumstances in ecu international locations and the way this affects on their views of the nationwide felony platforms. Comparisons among nations are made concerning how and to what quantity lay participation happens. The relation among lay participation and the felony system's legitimacy is analyzed. The booklet offers the result of interviews with either expert judges and lay individuals in a couple of ecu nations concerning their perspectives at the involvement of lay humans within the felony method. The ways that judges and lay humans have interaction whereas making an attempt situations are explored. The features of either specialist and lay judging of situations are tested.

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Example text

The basis for this decision is a questionnaire. The jury is only allowed to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the questions. There are two types of question: first, those about the crimes with which the defendant is charged, such as whether the defendant is guilty of the alleged crime and what legal qualification would apply. The second type of question covers those that arise during the trial of the case, for example relating to mitigating or aggravating circumstances, or the presence of certain mental 34 Democracy in the Courts disorders.

With respect to differences between large and small groups, Elster argues, ‘In a large assembly, it is not possible to pursue an argument in a coherent and systematic fashion. The debates tend to be dominated by a small number of skilled and charismatic speakers … who count on rhetoric rather than 28 Democracy in the Courts argument’ (Elster 1998a). Large groups thus have their own specific drawbacks. In comparison, in a small jury setting, ‘one is more likely to observe the substance and not only the form of deliberation.

After the war the mixed system with lay judges was restored. 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.

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