Publication - Research and analysis

Scottish jury research - mock jury study: summary of findings

Published: 9 Oct 2019
Directorate:
Safer Communities Directorate
Part of:
Law and order
ISBN:
9781839601934

The study is the first mock jury research to consider the unique nature of the Scottish jury system with 15 jurors, three verdicts and a simple majority.

9 page PDF

434.9 kB

9 page PDF

434.9 kB

Contents
Scottish jury research - mock jury study: summary of findings
Background and aims

9 page PDF

434.9 kB

Background and aims

This paper summarises the key findings of a large-scale mock jury study, conducted on behalf of the Scottish Government by Ipsos MORI Scotland and researchers from the Universities of Glasgow and Warwick.

The Scottish jury system differs from most English language jurisdictions in three main ways:

  • There are three verdicts: guilty, not guilty and not proven (most major English language jurisdictions only have two verdicts: guilty and not guilty).
  • Each jury has 15 members (rather than the typical 12).
  • Verdicts are returned by a simple majority (eight out of 15 jurors, rather than requiring juries to reach unanimity or near unanimity).

The study addressed two overarching questions:

  • What effects do the unique features of the Scottish jury system have on jury reasoning and jury decision making?
  • What are jurors' understandings of the not proven verdict and why might they choose this verdict over another verdict?

Contact

Email: catherine.bisset@gov.scot