Thursday, 15 February 2007

'The Verdict'

Surprisingly, I'm rather hooked on a short Reality Television programme, braodcast on BBC2 this week. It's an analysis of legal proceedings, especially jury dynamics. It's not a perfect programme. Using a celebrity jury to try a celebrity case makes it unrepresentative. But nonetheless it's an intellectual programme.

It also brought up two more points of Jurisprudence, which I think I shall come back to when my English essay is finished. They are, briefly, the use of hearsay evidence, and the right to silence. Gavin, perceptively, has already asked about the latter. I promise an imminent answer.

As to my own silence of the last few days, I should apologise. Firstly, the programme and working have worn down my writing time. Secondly, I went on a lovely trip out to the countryside for a re-union with friends. Which was brilliant. But I've been busy!



Fergus said...

I've seen bits and pieces of this: I concluded that it was guilty of stretching the reality TV platform too far. I think it's just some kind of celebrity vehicle. Would have been far better if they had decided to use 'real' people; that is, non-celebrities. Having said that, from an intellectual stand point it was quite interesting. Sadly there are much better things on TV currently. Got it recorded, Phil?!

Phil' said...

I do indeed have the whole thing recorded on a single DVD. Surprisingly organised.

I would agree that it's not great for it to be so celebrity-orientated, but on further reflection, I think it's justified.

One of the aims of the programme was to show how Juries work. part of that - very well shown indeed, was to show how a person's background and prejudices come into play. It's much easier if you pick people whose backgrounds are well known. And the balance of characters was very good.

Its chief advantage - other than intellectual provocation - was showing people how the system works. Very few people choose to sit in on trials. And there are no cameras inside courtrooms. Given that fact, i think it serves a useful purpose as an educational tool: to open up what is, after all, an integral and vital part of our society.


Francis said...

I have to say I thought it was a tremendous success, and, like Phil, I was hooked. I agree with Phil's point about the celebrities - their well known and distinctive backgrounds addedd to the program.

On the downside, I now want to kill Stan Collymore and Patsy Palmer.