The Federation Press

Juries in the 21st Century


This book provides a broad understanding of and critical thinking about the contemporary jury system. It fills a void of easily accessible knowledge about how jury trials work and how jury research assists us to formulate new ways to improve the system. Current issues challenging the jury system, such as the impact that technology is having on jury trials, are discussed.

Juries in the 21st Century is designed to inform jury practitioners (judges, barristers, instructing solicitors, and forensic experts) about what constitutes best practice for them. It details how other jurisdictions are dealing with issues within their jury systems and allows jury practitioners to understand which practices are based upon fact and which are based on habit, anecdote and other misconceptions.

It encourages jury practitioners and law reformers to consider new approaches in order to improve jury communication.

Teachers and researchers in law, psychology, criminology and sociology should find this cross-disciplinary book useful as it synthesises the current state of jury research. To curious members of the public who have or would like to serve on a jury, this book will provide you with insight into jury trials and jury room dynamics.


Dr Horan manages to tackle the impact of technological innovation and social media on the jury system in a manner that will remain relevant through the years of change to come. I fear I have no choice, therefore, but to resort to superlatives in describing this work. This book is the most timely, accomplished and not-at-all-foolhardy contribution to the study of juries in Australia this century. - The Hon T F Bathurst, Chief Justice of New South Wales

Dr Horan has written a sophisticated, carefully reasoned and thoroughly sound text that presents a new, and refreshingly different, approach to our understanding of the contemporary role of the jury in our criminal justice system. It puts forward a distillation of some of the best thinking on the subject, and points the way towards legal reforms that are urgently needed. - Justice Mark Weinberg, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria

Taking a decidedly interdisciplinary perspective, blending law and relevant jury research, in Juries in the 21st Century, Dr. Horan summarises what we know about Australian juries and the challenges the law faces. Showing that contemporary Australian jurors are generally smart, well-educated, and capable of learning, Dr. Horan concludes that the modern jury is capable of meeting the challenge of deciding increasingly complex cases in the modern digital media era. She argues, however, that legal and judicial practice need to be adapted to embrace technology in order to improve the jury system. This highly readable and timely book will be equally appealing and useful to lawyers, judges, students of both law and social science, jury researchers -- and indeed anyone with an interest in this most important aspect of our legal system. - Professor James R P Ogloff, FAPS Director, Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science Monash University and Forensicare

This book is a great resource for all who work with juries. It is of special importance for jury advocates and advocacy teachers in their understanding of how best to communicate and persuade. - Professor The Honourable George Hampel AM QC, Chairman, Australian Advocacy Institute, Professor of Trial Practice and Advocacy, Monash University

Horan wrote Juries in the 21st Century for “jury practitioners,” a group that includes “judges, barristers, instructing solicitors and forensic experts”. Though the book is aimed at an Australian audience, much of the discussion is also useful to Canadian “jury practitioners”. . . . Horan's book makes a useful contribution to the legal literature on juries. It suggests many practical changes that could improve juror comprehension. As one of the few books to discuss how technology is changing the jury system, it also highlights both the benefits of technology and the real problems that it is creating for the conduct of trials. - Vanessa MacDonnell, Canadian Journal of Law and Technology (June 2014) (full citation available at 12 CANJLT 133)

Table of Contents

Foreword by The Hon T F Bathurst, Chief Justice of NSW
Introduction - Juries in the 21st Century
Who are the Jurors - How are they selected and what are their capabilities?
Do Jurors Cope with the Complexity of Contemporary Trials?
Juror Comprehension Research
Expert Evidence: Science and Technology in the Courtroom
The Detective Juror
Prejudicial Publicity and the Jury
Jury Communication in the Twenty-First Century

Of interest...