law pages of Bournemouth and Poole College.
Research shows in particular that the jury system does not discriminate against people from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds.
A four-year research study, published in June 2007 by the Ministry of Justice, shows clearly:
- No differences between white and black and minority ethnic people in responding positively to being summoned for jury service
- Black and minority ethnic groups are not significantly under-represented among those summoned for jury service or among those serving as jurors
- Racially-mixed juries’ verdicts do not discriminate against defendants based on their ethnicity
This unprecedented study is highly encouraging. It strongly suggests that juries and the jury system are working, and working well.
The study, Diversity and Fairness in the Jury System, carried out for the Ministry of Justice by the University of Birmingham, uses case simulation with real jurors, as well as examining the verdicts of actual juries, to try to understand jury decision-making.
The research was commissioned in June 2002 in response to the Macpherson Report published in 1999, which followed an inquiry into the Metropolitan police’s investigation of the murder of a black teenager, Stephen Lawrence.
Waseem Sarwar a 17-year-old A-level student was a back seat passenger involved in a car accident.
His skull and spine injuries have left him severely disabled. He will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life at a cost of almost Â£180,000 a year.
He was not wearing a seat belt and the driver was not insured. The Motor Insurers Bureau, the industry body that compensates victims of uninsured drivers, will pay the compensation.
Mr Justice Lloyd Jones assessed Waseem’s damages at Â£9,544,628 the biggest ever award made by a UK court in a personal injury case.
The award will be reduced by 25%, to Â£7,158,471,because not wearing a seat-belt is contributory negligence. Nevertheless, it remains among the highest payouts ever made.
The money will be paid in the form of a lump sum of more than Â£2.8 million. Periodical payments will cover his care costs.