Ellis v Deheer: 1922

The court heard an application for a new trial of a civil action which had been tried before a jury on the ground that the verdict as delivered by the foreman was not the verdict of the jury.
Held: A jury’s deliberations cannot be questioned. ‘I desire to make it clear that the court will never admit evidence from jurymen of the discussion which they may have had between themselves when considering their verdict or of the reasons for their decision, whether the discussion took place in the jury room after retirement or in the jury box itself. It has for many years been a well accepted rule that when once a verdict has been given it ought not to be open to an individual juryman to challenge it, or to attempt to support it if challenged. I have spoken of this as a rule of law, but it has also been generally accepted by the public as a rule of conduct, that what passes in the jury room during the discussion by the jury of what their verdict should be ought to be treated as private and confidential.’ and ‘The reason why that evidence is not admitted is twofold, on the one hand it is in order to secure the finality of decisions arrived at by the jury, and on the other to protect the jurymen themselves and prevent their being exposed to pressure to explain the reasons which actuated them in arriving at their verdict. To my mind it is a principle which it is of the highest importance in the interests of justice to maintain, and an infringement of the rule appears to me a very serious interference with the administration of justice.’
Bankes LJ, Atkin LJ
[1922] 2 KB 113
England and Wales
Citing:

  • Followed – Rex v Wooller 1817
    Some of the jurors, although present when the verdict was delivered, were so placed that they were not able to hear what the foreman said and were in fact in disagreement with it.
    Held: The exclusionary rule had not been infringed by evidence . .
    (1817) 2 Stark 111

Cited by:

  • Approved – Regina v Miah and Akhbar CACD 9-Dec-1996
    A message was offered to one of the solicitors acting for a defendant from a relative of a juror after the trial.
    Held: Rules against hearing of jury deliberations are wider than Contempt of Court Act. The court refused to commence any Young . .
    Times 18-Dec-96, [1996] EWCA Crim 1653, [1997] 2 Cr App R 12
  • Cited – Regina v Connor and another; Regina v Mirza HL 22-Jan-2004
    The defendants sought an enquiry as to events in the jury rooms on their trials. They said that the secrecy of a jury’s deliberations did not fit the human right to a fair trial. In one case, it was said that jurors believed that the defendant’s use . .
    [2004] UKHL 2, Times 23-Jan-04, [2004] 2 WLR 201, [2004] 1 AC 1118, [2004] HRLR 11, 16 BHRC 279, [2004] 2 Cr App R 8, [2004] 1 All ER 925
  • Cited – Regina v Connor and another; Regina v Mirza HL 22-Jan-2004
    The defendants sought an enquiry as to events in the jury rooms on their trials. They said that the secrecy of a jury’s deliberations did not fit the human right to a fair trial. In one case, it was said that jurors believed that the defendant’s use . .
    [2004] UKHL 2, Times 23-Jan-04, [2004] 2 WLR 201, [2004] 1 AC 1118, [2004] HRLR 11, 16 BHRC 279, [2004] 2 Cr App R 8, [2004] 1 All ER 925
  • Cited – Boston v W S Bagshaw and Sons (Note) CA 1966
    Once a jury have given their verdict, and it has been accepted by the judge, and they have been discharged, they are not at liberty to say that they meant something different: ‘The reasons for this are twofold: first, to secure the finality of . .
    [1966] 1 WLR 1135
  • Cited – Regina v Smith, Regina v Mercieca HL 16-Feb-2005
    A member of the jury wrote to the judge saying that other members were failing to discharge their duties properly. Smith took a tactical decision not to seek a retrial. The judge saw counsel in chambers, after which the jury were reminded of their . .
    Times 17-Feb-05, [2005] UKHL 12, [2005] 1 WLR 704, [2005] 1 All ER 29
  • Cited – Lalchan Nanan v The State PC 1986
    (Trinidad and Tobago) The Board refused to admit evidence that four members of the jury, including the foreman, were acting under a misapprehension when they agreed to the verdict. However, the Board accepted the possibility that other cases might . .
    [1986] AC 860, [1986] UKPC 29, [1986] 83 Cr App R 292, (1986) 83 LSG 1995, [1986] 3 WLR 304, (1986) 83 Cr App R 29, [1986] 3 All ER 248
  • Cited – Regina v Tantram; Regina v Bibby etc CACD 24-May-2001
    The defendants appealed against their convictions for conspiracy in have combined to put into the human food chain poultry meat which had been condemned as unfit. The jury after retiremen had indicated that they had reached agreement on some . .
    Times 20-Jul-01, [2001] EWCA Crim 1364

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 December 2020; Ref: scu.192249