Barnard and De Meyer on The Justice Syndicate: How Interactive Theatre Provides a Window Into Jury Decision Making and the Public Understanding of Law @kris8dm
Dan Barnard, School of Arts and Creative Industries, South Bank University, and Kris De Meyer, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Kings College London, have published The Justice Syndicate: how interactive theatre provides a window into jury decision making and the public understanding of law in the Journal of Law & the Humanities. Here is the abstract.
The Justice Syndicate (TJS) is an interactive performance, featuring an audience who become jurors considering a difficult case. Via iPads, participants receive evidence, witness testimonies and prompts to vote and discuss the case. We compare TJS to other theatre performances in which audiences are juries, arguing it is unique in only having twelve audience members, with no additional spectators. We compare TJS to experiments researching jury decision-making. In its novel use of technology, it offers a scalable method to research group decision-making in jury-style settings, or to give legal practitioners and prospective jurors an experience of the psychological factors affecting jury deliberation. We discuss how different juries can be presented with identical evidence and come to opposing verdicts. We argue that these wildly different outcomes are linked to how the participants – individually and as a group – resolve the tension between what is legal and what is just.