(143)  Human rights, the civil jury and the lottery culture

The civil jury, long one of the betes noirs of Scottish neo-Civilians as a result of its origins in an early nineteenth-century Anglicisation of Scots law through the Jury Trials Acts of 1815, 1819, 1825 and 1830, has been challenged as contrary to Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (fair trial).  The case, which involves a £400,000 damages claim in respect of a personal injury suffered in a motorcycle accident, began before Lords Johnston, Coulsfield and Hamilton of the Court of Session on 8 January 2002.  The defenders argue that the absence of a requirement to give reasons on the part of the jury makes its operation contrary to Article 6.  Louise Milligan, counsel for the defenders, observed that juries are exposed to the lottery culture and awards in America.  We do not know what happens in the jury room. (The Times, 9 Jan 2002).