LawyersKey - Lawyers Key » USA Laywers » New Jersey Lawyer » Why do some cases have a fair amount of judges presiding over them?

  #1 (permalink)
: I'm reading a criminal case which has 8 judges involved in it. I'm just curious as to why this is?
('England and Wales' Law)
Name of the case is, 'A.G for Jersey v Holley [2005] 2 AC 580'

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  #2 (permalink)
: When the case is tried there is one judge.

If there is an appeal, there is a panel of judges that all vote on the outcome.
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  #3 (permalink)
: That's because you're looking at an appeal. Originally there would only have been a single judge who preside at the trial or "at first instance." Even better, this case is at least a second appeal: it was appealed first within Jersey's own legal system, and from that system to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in it's role as a final court of appeal for commonwealth countries which wish to use it).
Appeal courts always involve multiple judges: they often deal with complex legal arguments, about which lawyers disagree, so, in the same way we have many ordinary people on a jury, we have multiple judges on appeal panel to make the "correct" outcome more likely.
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  #4 (permalink)
: I've looked at it and this is obviously a second appeal. Furthermore, this is in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which by being the final court of appeal for the Commonwealth jurisdictions that use it, can make law by its decisions. The points arising in any case that gets that far will inevitably be very debatable, and need the best legal brains in the country to come to a group decision.

If you think about it, in English law, criminal verdicts are nearly always decided by groups. In a magistrates' court, there are three magistrates, unless a district judge (magistrates' courts) is presiding. In a Crown Court the jury decides. In the Court of Appeal there are three judges, and in the Supreme Court, five.
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