13 Colum. J. Eur. L. 83 (2006)

John D. Jackson. Professor of Public Law, Queen’s University Belfast School of Law, Director of Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Northern Ireland. B.A., University of Durham, 1976; LL.M., University of Wales, 1980.

Nikolay P. Kovalev. PhD candidate, Queen’s University Belfast School of Law, Northern Ireland. LL.B., West- Kazakhstan State University (Kazakhstan), 2001; LL.M., Indiana University at Bloomington, 2003.

This Article, which draws upon a research study conducted by the authors on lay adjudication in 46 Member States of the Council of Europe, focuses on the extent to which the practices and procedures of lay adjudication are compatible with international standards of human rights. The Article provides an outline of the main models of continental lay adjudication that can be discerned within the criminal procedural systems of the Council of Europe states, and examines the implications for human rights in the manner in which a number of specific issues, such as selection and training, evidence, deliberation, judgment, and appeals, are addressed. The Article concludes by considering reforms that are currently under way, some in contrary directions, and argues that the reform debate in both established and transitional systems of criminal justice has focused unduly on the competing merits of different models of lay adjudication without enough emphasis on the manner in which each of the different models might enhance the protection of human rights. The Article proposes a number of principles that could be adopted within different models of lay adjudication in order to enhance human rights objectives.