BOCSAR seminar: Respecting "Terrorists" in a Jury Trial

Tue Sep 07 2010

The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research will host a seminar by Professor David Tait from the Justice Research Group, University of Western Sydney, on "Respecting 'terrorists' in a jury trial: how to humanise unpopular defendants". It will take place between 11am-midday, on Friday, 17 September 2010 in the Jury Assembly Room, Sydney West Trial Court, 6 George Street Parramatta.

Suspects charged with terrorism-related offences are increasingly coming before juries to decide on their cases.� What confidence can we have that juries, comprised almost entirely of people from different backgrounds to those of the accused, are likely to deal fairly with the evidence?� This paper uses data from a mock trial carried out in the NSW Supreme Court involving a terrorist scenario, together with information about the use of security cages in courtrooms in Australia and several European jurisdictions, and historical research about mixed juries.� It makes a case for changes to court layouts, jury selection and court processes that are likely to enhance the ability of jurors to view defendants in terrorism cases as fellow citizens.

David Tait, Ph.D. is a professor at the University of Western Sydney, where he heads the Justice Research Group. He is a criminologist and sociologist with a background in social statistics, guardianship and mental health, sentencing, jury research and urban sociology.� He currently leads four Australian Research Council-funded research projects on juries and interactive evidence, remote witness technologies in courts, court safety and security, and confidence in justice and the jury experience. He is co-ordinator of the Court of the Future Network, a group of architects, judges and scholars with an interest in court design and rituals.

Directions� � The Sydney West Trial Court is located at 6 George Street Parramatta, corner of George and Marsden Streets.� �

There are a number of paid parking options available in the area. Details can be found on the Parramatta Council website:\_and\_transport/car\_parks

RSVPs are essential - please email to or ring 02 9231 9190.

7 September 2010

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