This article describes the contemporary landscape of the French jury. Putting the institution in its historical and political context, it begins with an overview of the rich history of the French jury. We describe the earliest form of community judgment in France, the introduction of a formal jury system following the French Revolution, and the political and legal influences that transformed it from an independent body of lay citizens to a mixed decision-making body of professional and lay judges. We next identify characteristic features of contemporary French jury trial procedure and the respective roles and responsibilities of professional and lay judges, and then summarize the appellate procedure. After reviewing current debates about the merits of lay participation in the French legal system, we close with some reflections about the future of this storied institution.
Valerie P. Hans & Claire M. Germain, The French Jury at a Crossroads, 86 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 737 (2011), available at http://scholarship.law.ufl.edu/facultypub/157