domingo, 1 de octubre de 2017

CHUBUT: Crucial visit of Chubut representatives to Neuquén province

It is inminent the decision of the Legislature to implement trial by jury in the Patagonian province of Chubut, Argentina. In no more than 90 days, the jury bill will be passed.

Since Governor Mario Das Neves sent the bill in April, there have been numerous events and conferences with active participation of legislators, foreign researchers and scholars, members of the Judiciary and also from the Bar Associations.

Two jurors talking about their experience
to Chubut representatives

But the law must be passed by the Legislature. The ball is now, as the Constitution marks, on the legislators' field. They are the ones who have now the final word.

The only question that remains to be resolved -since there is an overwhelming consensus on every other matter- is whether the jury's verdict will be unanimous or whether the English Rule will be adopted. That is, a unanimous verdict but, if after a rational time of deliberation the jury can not reach it, the judge will accept 9-3 verdicts.

It is an important debate, but prestigious international research on juries shows that is purely theoretical: 96% of the verdicts are always unanimous.

Chubut and their famous whales

The beautiful Chubut River

For that reason, it speaks very well of the professionalism of Chubut representatives the fact that, before passing the bill, they decided to organize a trip to the neighboring Patagonian province of Neuquén to hear all the arguments, to meet with legislators, judges and jurors and to see with their own eyes a real trial by jury in order to dispel every doubt.

In short, to pass the best possible jury trial bill for Chubut with the unanimous voting of the whole Legislature.

The program was organized by the chief of the Judiciary Training School, Leticia Lorenzo and included interviews with the local Supreme Court, Judge Fernando Zvilling (Court of Appeals), the Attorney General of the Province, members of the Jurors Office, journalists, Neuquén representatives and, above all, with former jurors.

The latter was a huge success and a smart move (see the video at the bottom of the page). Nobody better than those citizens who have served as jurors to explain in every detail the operation of the jury system and how the people sees, feels and perceives jury duty.

The members of the trip were Chubut representatives Adrián López, Eduardo Conde, Cristina De Luca, Alejandra Johnson Táccari and Viviana Navarro, all of them belonging to different political parties.

The visit could not be more fruitful and it really impressed the visitors.

Representative Eduardo Conde

Here are some of the most outstanding statements made by representative Eduardo Conde, who confirmed with Adrián López that the next step will be a great mock trial in the Legislature:

"the most remarkable thing about the experience was the unanimous position of all judicial actors about the benefits of the system. We heard not even a single voice against trial by jury" 

"Jurors told us about their experience with enormous enthusiasm. We were really shocked. They felt themselves as the main protagonists of the case and highly satisfied with their service" 

"If we pass the law, we want to the endorsement of the entire House"

"Neuquén has a majority 8-4 verdict. We have met many Neuquén judges who strongly criticized that rule. We are actually discussing two jury bills projects in Chubut. One with a unanimous verdict and the other with the English Rule. But the remarkable thing is the full acceptance of the system".


Read the news here:

- Diario de Madryn (30 September 2017) " Representatives of Chubut evaluate experience Neuquen Trial by Jury " (see)

- See the video of the Jurors explaining their role: "Two jurors explains the functioning of the jury trial" (see the video)