The jury trial in various jurisdictions
Australia The Australian Constitution provides that: "80. The trial on indictment of any offence against any law of the Commonwealth shall be by jury, and every such trial shall be held in the State where the offence was committed, and if the offence was not committed within any State the trial shall be held at such place or places as the Parliament prescribes." The first trials by civilian juries of 12 in the colony of New South Wales were held in 1824, following a decision of the NSW Supreme Court on 14 October 1824. The NSW Constitution Act of 1828 effectively terminated trial by jury for criminal matters. Jury trials for criminal matters revived with the passing of the Jury Trials Amending Act of 1833 (NSW) (2 William IV No 12). Challenging potential jurors The voir dire system of examining the jury pool before selection is not permitted in Australia as it violates the privacy of jurors. Therefore, though it exists, the right to challenge for cause during jury selection cannot be employed much. Peremptory challenges are usually based on the hunches of the counsels and no reason is needed to use them. All Australian states allow for peremptory challenges in jury selection, however, the number of challenges granted to the counsels in each state are not all the same. Until 1987 New South Wales had twenty peremptory challenges for each side where the offence was murder, and eight for all other cases. In 1987 this was lowered to three peremptory challenges per side, the same amount allowed in South Australia. Eight peremptory challenges are allowed for both counsels for all offences in Queensland. Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory allow for six. Western Australia allows five peremptory challenges per side, according to section 104 of the Criminal Procedure Ac 2004 (WA). Majority and unanimous verdicts in criminal trials See also: Hung jury In Australia majority verdicts are allowed in South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, New South Wales and Queensland, while the ACT require unanimous verdicts. Since 1927 South Australia has permitted majority verdicts of 11:1, and 10:1 or 9:1 where the jury has been reduced, in criminal trials if a unanimous verdict cannot be reached in four hours. They are accepted in all cases except for "guilty" verdicts where the defendant is on trial for murder or treason. Victoria has accepted majority verdicts with the same conditions since 1994, though deliberations must go on for six hours before a majority verdict can be made. Western Australia accepted majority verdicts in 1957 for all trials except where the crime is murder or has a life sentence. A 10:2 verdict is accepted. Majority verdicts of 10:2 have been allowed in Tasmania since 1936 for all cases except murder and treason if a unanimous decision has not been made within two hours. Since 1943 verdicts of Уnot guiltyФ for murder and treason have also been included, but must be discussed for six hours. The Northern Territory has allowed majority verdicts of 10:2, 10:1 and 9:1 since 1963 and does not discriminate between cases whether the charge is murder or not. Deliberation must go for at least six hours before delivering a majority verdict. Majority verdicts were introduced in New South Wales in 2005 (see Jury Act 1977 (NSW), s 55F). Austria Austria, in common with a number of European civil law jurisdictions, retains elements of trial by jury in serious criminal cases. Canada Under Canadian law, a person has the right to a jury trial for all crimes punishable by five years of imprisonment or more.