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Title: Telling Tales: Exploring Narratives of Life and Law within the (Mock) Jury Room
Authors: Munro, Vanessa E.
Ellison, L. E.
First Published: 28-Apr-2014
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Legal Studies, 2014, 35 (2), pp. 201-225
Abstract: Based on a findings of a simulation study in which 160 members of the public observed a mini rape trial re-enactment and were then asked to deliberate in jury groups towards a unanimous verdict, this paper explores the extent to which participants were able, and willing, to understand and apply judicial directions, and the legal tests or criteria contained therein. More specifically, it reflects on whether the additional provision of written directions in the jury room influenced the tone or direction of jurors' discussions, and illustrates the limited recourse made by participants to their contents, as well as their tendency to misinterpret or misapply them when they were relied upon. Having done so, this paper moves on to explore the reasons behind this limited impact, suggesting that fundamental tensions may exist between legal and lay imaginaries, such that jurors are reluctant to jettison their more natural inclinations to reach individual and collective verdicts on the basis of narrative constructions grounded in ‘common sense’ and ‘personal experience’.
DOI Link: 10.1111/lest.12051
ISSN: 0261-3875
eISSN: 1748-121X
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2014 The Society of Legal Scholars. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Ellison, L. and Munro, V. E. (2015), ‘Telling tales’: exploring narratives of life and law within the (mock) jury room. Legal Studies, 35: 201–225., which has been published in final form at doi: 10.1111/lest.12051. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Description: The file associated with this record is under a 24-month embargo from publication in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy, available at The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Law

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