The juries in cases, rather than the cases themselves, have been very much at the forefront of the news this week. The first juror to be prosecuted for contempt of court for using the internet during a trial has been sentenced to eight months in jail. The case has raised questions over the concept of jury service and jurors’ access to the internet.  In another jury case, the decision of a judge in Wood Green Crown Court to dismiss the jury after allegations of jury-tampering in a fraud trial may be referred to the Supreme Court. The case tests a section of legislation that permits judges to continue without a jury if satisfied the jury has been subject to interference and that the defendants can still have a fair trial.

Juries should be split into three groups of four to allow every member an equal chance to participate, a new study has suggested. Researchers from the psychology department at the University of Portsmouth found that in large groups, many people feel intimidated to speak out and barely contribute to the discussion.

The information commissioner has ended his investigation into News of the World publisher News Group Newspapers following “assurances” it did not lose a tranche of emails which could contain evidence its journalists were involved in hacking phones.

A new scheme to assess the performance of criminal advocates has been given the green light by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) at its meeting on 16 June, The Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) is a joint project by the BSB, Solicitors Regulation Authority and ILEX Professional Standards. Its aim is to respond to Lord Carter’s 2006 report, which identified ‘a client driven need for the quality assurance of advocacy’ to ensure that all advocates appearing in the criminal courts are operating to consistent standards.

The Court of Protection has ruled that an 18-year-old man with autism and severe learning disabilities who was regularly placed in a padded seclusion room more than six times a day was unlawfully deprived of his liberty. The ruling is the second time in as many weeks that the Court of Protection has found that a local authority wrongly deprived someone of their liberty. Last week the London Borough of Hillingdon was severely criticised by a judge for taking Steven Neary, a 21-year-old man with autism and severe learning disabilities, away from his father for more than a year.