Women on the Jury in Leicester after 1919, 4 November 2020

Kevin Crosby (Newcastle University)

This paper will explore the practical consequences of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 on the jury system in Leicester. Leicester was unusual in being one of ten cities which were not required to observe the property qualifications (qualifications which excluded many women from juries even after 1919), until this discretion was abolished at the end of 1920. Leicester is also unusual in having fairly good records of the jurors who were called to serve during the interwar period. This makes it possible to construct a detailed account of exactly how the institution functioned in the years after women were first added to the lists of people qualified to serve. Leicester seems to have been more relaxed than many other places about admitting women to its juries after 1919, and in 1920 every jury deciding cases at the city’s assizes was made up of six women and six men. Even after 1920, the officials operating Leicester’s courts appear to have been more relaxed than people working at other comparable local jurisdictions about having women on their juries. This paper will draw out some of the details of what all this actually meant in practice, and will situate Leicester within a broader context of practices elsewhere in England and Wales at this time.

This event is organised by Criminal Law, Criminal Justice and Criminology Research Cluster and is part of our ‘100 years of women in the law’ series.

Details

Date and time 1.00—2.00pm, 4 November 2020
Online
Open to staff and students
Booking
please contact steven.cammiss@le.ac.uk for an invite

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