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Significant changes to the Jury Manual


Jul 4, 2022

Practitioners may wish to note that the Amalgamated Briefing Paper on Restarting Solemn Trials, which provided a large volume of information on remote jury centres as well as setting out the new written directions and other information relevant to trials proceeding during COVID-19 has been removed from the Judiciary of Scotland website today.

Recognising that many of the processes adopted over the course of the pandemic in criminal proceedings now apply across all jury trials and that the SCTS is gradually going to be decommissioning Remote Jury Centres, the Jury Manual Committee has decided to take the following approach.

The revised “Judicial management of jury trials” chapter

From today the “Judicial management of jury trials” chapter includes information which remains relevant across all jury trials (both where juries will be in court and in Remote Jury Centres (RJCs)) which was originally set out in the Amalgamated Briefing Paper.

That includes information from the main body of the Briefing Paper on the approach to be taken on days one and two of jury trials (whether proceeding by RJC or not); as well as Appendices D, E, F and G of the Amalgamated Briefing Paper. Appendix D focuses on matters of impartiality, Appendix E provides judges with COVID-19 information they may wish to impart to juries; Appendix F is the suggested introductory remarks and Appendix G contains the Written Directions.

Since they are no longer appendices within the Briefing Paper, the Jury Manual Committee and JI are moving away from the naming of these documents as ‘Appendices’. Appendices E, F, and G are now reproduced at the end of this chapter while Appendix D is reproduced within the body of the chapter.

The new “Specialities in remote jury centre trials” chapter

Any matters specific to trials proceeding via RJC only have been placed in a new chapter of the Jury Manual - “Specialities in remote jury centre trials”. The content within that chapter is not new, but comes from the Briefing Paper itself.