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Will federalism address PH woes?

Pros and cons of making the shift

At least 3 presidential and vice presidential candidates in 2016 are pushing for a change in the Philippine system of government

Some candidates in the 2016 national elections have been vocal about their support for federalism.

Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte, and vice presidential bets Alan Peter Cayetano (his running mate) and Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos
Jr, in particular, have been championing it.

Supporters of federalism say it will evenly distribute wealth across the country instead of the bulk going to "imperial" Manila. Detractors, like
presidential candidate Grace Poe, say it will further entrench political dynasties in the regions and create confusion over responsibilities.

Read on to find out more about federalism and its perceived advantages and disadvantages.

What is federalism?

It is a form of government where sovereignty is constitutionally shared between a central governing authority and constituent political units
called states or regions.

In basic terms, it will break the country into autonomous regions with a national government focused only on interests with nationwide
bearing: foreign policy and defense, for example.

The autonomous regions or states, divided further into local government units, will have primary responsibility over developing their
industries, public safety, education, healthcare, transportation, recreation, and culture. These states will have more power over their finances,
development plans, and laws exclusive to ther jurisdiction.

The central government and states can also share certain powers.

How is it different from what we have now?

We presently have a unitary form of government. Most administrative powers and resources are with the national government based in Metro
Manila. It's Malacañang that decides how much to give local government units. The process is prone to abuse, with governors and mayors
sometimes having to beg Malacañang for projects they believe their communities need.

How local government units spend their budget has to be approved by the national government.

In federalism, the states will have the power to make these decisions with little or no interference from the national government.

Examples of federal countries: United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, India, Malaysia.


Locals decide for themselves. Regions have their own unique problems, situations, geographic, cultural, social and economic contexts.
Federalism allows them to create solutions to their own problems instead of distant Metro Manila deciding for them.

The states can establish policies that may not be adopted nationwide. For example, liberal Metro Manila can allow same-sex marriage which
the state of Bangsamoro, predominantly Muslim, would not allow. In the United States, some states like Colorado and Washington have
legalized recreational marijuana even if other states have not.

This makes sense in an archipelago of over 7,000 islands and 28 dominant ethnic groups. For decades, the national government has been
struggling to address the concerns of 79 (now 81) provinces despite challenges posed by geography and cultural differences.

With national government, and thus power, centered in Metro Manila, it's no surprise that development in the mega city has spiralled out of
control while other parts of the country are neglected.

More power over funds, resources. Right now, local government units can only collect real estate tax and business permit fees. In federalism,
they can retain more of their income and are required to turn over only a portion to the state government they fall under.

Thus, local governments and state governments can channel their own funds toward their own development instead of the bulk of the money
going to the national government. They can spend the money on programs and policies they see fit without waiting for the national
government's go signal.

Promotes specialization. The national and state governments can specialize in different policy domains. With most administrative powers now
with the regional governments, the national government can focus on foreign policy, defense, and other nationwide concerns, like healthcare
and taxation.

States have more autonomy to focus on economic development using their core competencies and industries. The state of Central Luzon can
focus on becoming an agricultural hub. The state of Mimaropa, home to Palawan, can choose to use eco-tourism as its primary launch pad.

Possible solution to the Mindanao conflict. The creation of the state of Bangsamoro within a federalist system may address concerns of
separatists who crave more autonomy over the administration of Muslim Mindanao.

Decongestion of Metro Manila. Through fiscal autonomy for state governments, federalism will more evenly distribute the country's wealth. In
2015, 35% of the national budget went to Metro Manila even if it represents only 14% of the Philippine population.

Lessens dependence on Metro Manila. When there is political upheaval in Metro Manila, other regions that have nothing to do with the chain
of events are left waiting for the resources that ony the national government can release. With federalism, regions work independently of
Metro Manila for most concerns.
Brings government closer to the people. If detractors say federalism will only make local political dynasties more powerful, supporters give the
argument that, in fact, it will make all local leaders, including those part of political dynasties, more accountable to their constituents. State
governments will no longer have any excuse for delays in services or projects that, in the present situation, are often blamed on choking
bureaucracy in Manila.

Assuming more autonomy for regions leads to economic development, there will be more incentive for Filipinos to live and work in regions
outside Metro Manila. More investors may also decide to put up their businesses there, creating more jobs and opportunities to attract more
people away from the jam-packed mega city.

Encourages competition. With states now more self-reliant and in control of their development, they will judge themselves relative to how
their fellow states are progressing. The competitive spirit will hopefully motivate state leaders and citizens to level up in terms of quality of
life, economic development, progressive policies, and governance.


Possibly divisive. Healthy competition among states can become alienating – creating rivalries and promoting the regionalism that some say
already challenges the sense of unity in the country. It could enflame hostilities between ethnic groups in the country like Tagalogs,
Cebuanos, Bicolanos, Ilocanos, Tausugs, and Zamboangueños.

Uneven development among states. Some states may not be as ready for autonomy as others. Some states may not be as rich in natural
resources or skilled labor as others. States with good leaders will progress faster while states with ineffective ones will degrade more than
ever because national government will not be there to balance them out.

But in some federal countries, the national government doles out funds to help poorer states. A proposed Equalization Fund will use a portion
of tax from rich states to be given to poorer states.

Confusing overlaps in jurisdiction. Where does the responsibility of state governments end and where does the responsibility of the national
government begin? Unless these are very clearly stated in the amended Constitution, ambiguities may arise, leading to conflict and confusion.
For instance, in times of disaster, what is the division of responsibilities between state and national governments?

May not satisfy separatists in Mindanao. Separatists are calling for their own country, not just a state that still belongs to a larger federal
Philippines. Federalism may not be enough for them. After all, the conflict continues despite the creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim

How the Philippines would look when federal

In some proposals, there will be 10 or 11 autonomous states. Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr envisioned 11 states plus the Federal
Administrative Region of Metro Manila.

Here's how the Philippines will look like as laid out in Pimentel's 2008 Joint Resolution Number 10.

Cost of federalism

Shifting to federalism won't come cheap. It would entail billions of pesos to set up state governments and the delivery of state services. States
will then have to spend for the elections of their officials.

Attempts at federalism in PH

There was an attempt during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. One of her campaign promises was to reform the 1987

A consultative commission she created recommended federalism as one of the goals of the proposed charter change. But the attempt failed
because of opposition from various sectors who believed Arroyo wanted to use the reform to extend her term limit.

(Note that shifting to a federal government does not necessarily mean an extension of term limits for the sitting president. Such an extension
would only take place in a shift to a parliamentary government.)

In 2008, Pimentel Jr and Bacolod City Representative Monico Puentevella filed joint resolutions to convene Congress into a constituent
assembly with the goal of amending the constitution to establish a federal form of government. – Rappler.com

Advantages and Disadvantages of Federalism

The pros and cons of federalism have been the subject of debate since the creation of the republic.

Federalism’s Advantages

Proponents argue that federalism does the following:

Fosters state loyalties: Many Americans feel close ties to their home state, and federalism maintains that connection by giving power to the

Practices pragmatism: Running a country the size of the United States, with such a diverse population, is much easier to do if power is given
to local officials. Likewise, state and local officials are closer to the problems of their areas, so it makes sense for them to choose policies to
solve those problems.

Creates laboratories of democracy: State governments can experiment with policies, and other states (and the federal government) can learn
from their successes and failures.
Example: California has frequently led the nation in environmental regulations: Many measures adopted by California are subsequently
adopted by other states. And during the 1990s, Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson experimented with welfare policy, and those
experiments influenced federal welfare reform.

Leads to political stability: By removing the national government from some contentious issue areas, federalism allowed the early U.S.
government to achieve and maintain stability.

Encourages pluralism: Federal systems expand government on national, state, and local levels, giving people more access to leaders and
opportunities to get involved in their government.

Ensures the separation of powers and prevents tyranny: Even if one person or group took control of all three branches of the federal
government, federalism ensures that state governments would still function independently. Federalism, therefore, fulfills the framers’ vision of
a governmental structure that ensures liberty.

Federalism’s Disadvantages

Critics argue that federalism falls short in two ways:

Prevents the creation of a national policy: The United States does not have a single policy on issues; instead, it has fifty-one policies, which
often leads to confusion.

Leads to a lack of accountability: The overlap of the boundaries among national and state governments makes it tricky to assign blame for
failed policies.

Citizen Ignorance

Critics argue that federalism cannot function well due to ignorance. Most Americans know little about their state and local governments, and
turnout in state and local elections is often less than 25 percent. Citizens consequently often ignore state and local governments, even though
these governments have a lot of power to affect people’s lives.

1. How does federalism differ from unitary and confederal systems?

In a federal system, a national government and the state governments share power. In a unitary system, all power lies with the national
government, whereas in a confederation, the vast majority of power rests with the states.

2. Describe the difference between layer-cake and marble-cake federalism.

In dual federalism, which existed through most of the nineteenth century, the powers and issue areas of state and federal governments rarely
overlapped, much like a layer cake. Cooperative federalism describes federalism in much of the twentieth century, where the powers and
responsibilities of the states and federal government overlap a great deal, resembling a marble cake.

3. What two historical events prompted the rise in power of the federal government?

The two key events that occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were the development of a national industrial economy
and the emergence of the United States as a world power.

12 Federalism Pros and Cons

Federalism is a system of government where power is divided between several different entities. Each entity is given the power to share
control over the same geographic region as another entity. In the United States, a system of Federalism is in place because laws can be
passed by a local government, the state government, or the national government.

This prevents one solitary body from being able to control every aspect of governing over a population. It also means there are tiered laws
and systems that can be confusing for certain geographic regions when laws may conflict. Take the marijuana legalization that has occurred
in the US. Recreational marijuana may be legal in some states, but it is illegal at the national level.

Even though local law enforcement may not arrest someone because the state laws say their actions are fine, national laws may dictate
otherwise and allow a national law enforcement officer to conduct an arrest anyway.

Here are some additional Federalism pros and cons to think about.

The Pros of Federalism

1. It creates a sense of local patriotism.

People feel close to their communities. Although there is always a level of national pride, local patriotism is usually the first level of loyalty that
an individual will experience. Federalism encourages this local loyalty by allowing communities to create laws and regulations that benefit
themselves, even if those laws wouldn’t make sense to implement in another geographic region.

2. It lessens the bureaucracy.

Although there are tiered levels of laws and regulations, the level of bureaucracy that exists within a system of Federalism is lower than it is in
other government structures. Diverse populations have unique needs that must be met and having a national-level government attempt to
understand those needs is always difficult. By allowing local or regional officials to have the power to meet those needs, the safety and
security of a population can be better met.

3. It can provide evidence of success… or failure.

Because local and regional communities can create their own laws and regulations, other government structures can look at the evidence of
success or failure from those efforts to determine if they could be used in other geographic regions. Welfare reform in the US originated from
regulation efforts made in Wisconsin, for example, and many environmental protection policies have originated from California.

4. It provides a better level of stability from a political perspective.

By allowing geographic regions to have a role in self-governing, the national government achieves political stability to some extent because
the people feel like they are in control of their own destiny. The national government can then act as more of an oversight or support network
to the local and regional governments that are in place.

5. It encourages involvement.

Because governments are at a local level, people know friends, neighbors, or family members who are active in creating policies, procedures,
or laws. Most elected positions, from school and hospital boards to the city council and mayor, are local offices. Because there is such open
access to the government, it encourages involvement because serving is so easy to do.

6. It separates the powers of the government.

Imagine if the President of the US were to eliminate all other branches of the national government. No more Congress. No Supreme Court.
What could happen? Because there is a separation of powers, freedom is still ensured because the state governments act independently of
the national government and the local governments, to a great extent, act independently of the state government. The checks and balances it
creates allows for independence.

The Cons of Federalism

1. It creates confusion.

Because the laws vary in each geographic region, people who travel or move to a new destination may find themselves violating the law
without realizing it. Recreational marijuana may be legal in Colorado, but if you take legally purchased product outside of the state, you are
then violating the local law there. You’re also violating national laws on marijuana with a purchase. This makes it difficult to know if you’re
actions are “right” or “wrong” as a citizen.

2. It encourages governments to “pass the buck.”

No one really wants to take accountability for failed policies in a structure of Federalism. Everyone blames everyone else and that creates
gridlock between the various agencies. Then nothing gets done because everyone is trying to assign blame and each group feels they have
the correct ethical or moral position. In other government systems, there is no question about who is to blame because there is only one unit
of government.

3. It creates a wealth gap.

“The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” It’s an expression that is heard in the US quite often and can be described as a “wealth gap.”
Socioeconomic resources are maintained at local levels and the national government is then asked to fill-in whatever gaps may exist, with
historically mixed levels of success.

4. It causes uncertainty.

Wildfires blaze throughout the Western United States every summer. Who is responsible for taking care of this issue so that no one gets hurt?
Or a hurricane blasts the eastern seaboard and causes extensive damage, flooding, and homelessness. Who is responsible for responding?
Because the government is tiered, no one is really sure who needs to respond or pay for the response and this can create delays in service.

5. It can be used for leverage.

Let’s say the national government wants to change health care laws for everyone, but a handful of regional governments don’t want any
changes to take place. To garner support for the change, the national government could offer additional funding or resources to the hold-out
regional governments, but not offer anything to those who agree that a change needs to be made. Federalism is a structure that encourages
dissent because that dissent can be used as leverage to grab more resources.

6. It stops national policies from being implemented.

Local laws can hamper the passage of regional laws. Regional laws can hamper the passage of national laws. Federalism effectively disperses
powers throughout a nation, but that also means the creation of national policies can be incredibly difficult. Unless there are exceptions in
place for each geographic region so that individualized needs can be met in some way, it can take more than generation to pass national-level
legal changes.

These Federalism pros and cons show us that it is a political system that is designed to ensure freedoms can be experienced, even in times of
governmental turmoil. No one has all the power, which means the population can’t be overrun by their government. On the other hand, that
insurance for freedom comes at the cost of creating national identities, unity, and policy.

Federalism Pros and Cons List

Federalism, like anything else, can be good for your country or state, but it can also be harmful in many ways as well. For those who are
unfamiliar with the laws of federalism, it basically means that states will have say so in most minor issues and can dictate to a degree what
residents are allowed and not allowed to do. Basically meaning that not all the governmental power is in one place, but instead dispersed
through regions etc. Below are some basic pros and cons related to Federalism and what it means for you.


1. State Control

States are allowed to put into motion certain policies that affect only them. For example the death penalty. Most of the southern states such
as Texas have the death penalty for criminals, but most of your northern states like Michigan and Iowa have not adopted this policy.

2. Focus on Larger Issues

With responsibilities being dispersed into other branches your government who holds higher ranking can focus more on the larger issues.
Including foreign policy, terrorism and epidemics. While your local government can focus on their own local region. Land owning is an
example of this, outlawing a type of fertilizer or crop dusting can affect the farming states such as Ohio, but this policy won’t do any good to
people in New York.

3. Dispersed Power

One of the biggest advantages of federalism is the power that one group can hold. Americans are constantly saying that the government has
too much power over what we do, however think what it would be like if there were no state leaders and legislatures. You never want to put
all your eggs in one basket, as this could very easily lead the country into a dictatorship type state.


1. Wealth Factor

Probably one of the biggest cons to federalism is the wealth factor. For example, states with national monuments such as the Grand Canyon
in Arizona draw in a lot of tourist, which draws in more money than other states. Federalism keeps money within the states, so basically
wealthy states get richer, and poorer states may end up in poverty one day. The gap between rich and poor grows more and more every year
as well.

2. Confusion with Governmental Rule

Federalism also causes confusion between the local governments and the national government as well. If an epidemic of aids broke out in one
quadrant of the US, the National government may not know when to step in and take responsibility as they would think the locals are taking
care of it. However, the locals may think the national government will help out. In history, this has happened with hurricane Katrina as well as
911; no one was quite sure who would step in first.

3. Potential for Corruption

Corruption can also occur at the local level and national level due to the power of authority. Let’s say a certain congressman wants same sex
marriages legalized, and the local state does not. A local power can put the plan in motion for same sex marriage in order to get something in
return such as money, goods or other valuable assets.

8 Far-Reaching Pros and Cons of Federalism


Basically, federalism is a governmental structure and political concept, where people are bound together with a representative leader. It often
involves power that is divided constitutionally between separate government units, such as provinces or states. With governing shared
between national and state organizations, its distribution of power is greater than other types of localized government. Generally, countries
can be broken down into either unitary states or federalism, depending on whether or not power is divided into a more local level.

A great example of a federalist system is the US, there is the national government having the ability to carry out policies, laws and anything
that individual states cannot effectively do on their own. Aside from this, the country is also comprised of several states having individual
policies and laws with regards to certain things. So, is this government, which we are accustomed to, the best to have? Let us take a closer
look at its pros and cons to come up with a well- informed decision.

List of Pros of Federalism

1. It prevents the centralization of power.

Unlike tyranny, where the rule of the many by the few occurs more easily in its unitary governmental system and power is centralized in a
single location, a federalist system uses the right of the states to ensure that power will be divided between the overarching government and
participating entities all the time. As a result, these two parties should work together to accomplish a certain objective, which makes actual
tyranny and centralization of power very difficult to occur.

2. It encourages a greater level of civic participation.

While many people criticize the low turn-out rates in the national and local elections in the US, the federal system on which the country
operates does create a surprising amount of activism and local governmental participation, which are rarely seen on the national level. With
the substantial level of power given to state and local governments, people would feel closer to the power structure and would be more
capable of making important changes when it is necessary. From activism by individuals to state-wide and non-profit organizations, officials
and citizens will be brought closer to the power with federalism in place. Moreover, many bigger national organizations can jump-start on the
state or local level and eventually rise up to national prominence when their missions’ importance becomes known across the whole country.

3. It makes it easier to create tailored laws.

Sometimes, national laws do not work across the entire country. In the US, certain laws, like those governing fishing, hunting and mining,
might work fantastically in one state, but would be completely impractical, useless or even dangerous in another. Unlike a unitary state
governmental structure, a federalist system allows each individual state to create specific laws that can be applied to the conditions and
setting that the state finds itself in. Because of this, laws can be meaningful and direct to serve a greater purpose to the citizens in the state.
Furthermore, passing laws on the local level can significantly be easier than doing it on the national level, which should addressing, debating
and ratifying of the laws quicker.

4. It encourages research on good policy.

States and local governments as a whole are seen as amazing experimenting grounds for democracy in a federal form of government. For
example, countless states are devising their own laws with regards the regulating controlled substances, where each state are having slightly
different languages in their laws, which yield different results. If the national government wants to adopt the best possible law, it just has to
look at the individual states and see what law is effectively working. A great example of this process was the creation of the Affordable Care
Act, where Massachusetts’ statewide health care system was adopted to create the national health care law.

List of Cons of Federalism

1. It can create issues with overlapping jurisdiction.

If you ask the national government about the legality of marijuana, then it considers it a Schedule 1 Substance (the most harmful and worst
of all) and not helpful medically or legally under any condition. In fact, many individuals have been jailed for possessing or trying to sell the
drug. However, a few states, such as Colorado, have made marijuana perfectly legal to have, sell, buy and ingest. So, is it legal or illegal?
With a federalist form of government, this type of overlapping jurisdiction in certain laws can lead to confusion and even a break-down of

2. It can create cross-border conflicts.

With federalism, there is always the possibility that individual provinces or states will compete against one another. For example, there is a
huge deal of competition among states in the US for business, where it is a common practice for them to try and poach businesses from each
other, enticing them to relocate for special perks, such as better taxes. While this practice might help the state in question, it hurts the
citizens of the country as a whole and does nothing for its betterment.

3. It hinders national policy.

While a federalist government allows the effective passage of laws on a state level, this slows down passing of other laws on the national
level. As mentioned above, the Affordable Care Act was a landmark legislation that was designed to address the failing health care standards
throughout the country. Whatever opinion you have about this act, it is clearly known that it took decades for the legislation to be enacted.

4. It raises greater ignorance on larger issues.

By creating national and state governments, there is a huge possibility that ignorance with regards to national issues would build up. On the
other hand, a unitary governmental structure would allow individuals to express what they think about national issues.


So, our federalist form of government has several pros. However, do they outweigh the cons? On your end and based on the lists given
above, do you think that federalism is the best political system?

The Pros And Cons Of The National ID System

It could be any minimalist’s dream: One identification (ID) for seamless transactions with all public and private agencies.

Or it could be any private citizen’s nightmare: all your personal data conveniently packaged in a single ID — one that could easily fall into the
hands of unscrupulous people.

One thing is certain, though: The dream — or nightmare — of a national ID system has moved closer to becoming a reality.

The road to the National ID

The House of Representatives passed House Bill 6221, or the act establishing the Filipino Identification System (FilSys), on its third and final
reading last September 8 by a 142-7 vote.

Upon enactment, the law would require Filipinos at least 18 years old to register and apply for a FilSys ID at the local civil registry office. They
may also apply at other implementing agencies like the Philippine Embassy or consular office for overseas Filipinos.

The bill’s proponent, Laguna Rep. Sol Aragones, said a national ID would eliminate the need for multiple identification cards to transact with
government and other institutions, including banks.

According to Aragones, who currently serves as the chairperson of the House’s Population and Family Relations Committee, a “single, unified
and streamlined national ID system” would improve public services by speeding up government transactions and reducing redundancy.

The proposed national ID would contain three sets of information: one which will appear on the card’s face, one which will be embedded in
the card’s smart chip, and one to be stored in an electronic database, to be administered by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The good, the bad, and the ID

Supporters say the ID will have advanced security features to protect the personal information stored in the ID.

However, naysayers have been quick to point out that just last year, despite similarly firm assurances, a data breach on the government’s
Commission on Elections (Comelec) website leaked confidential data to the public. The leak revealed the personal information of 15 million
voters, as well as information from election-related databases.

A closer look at the national ID’s salient features as laid out in House Bill 6221 reveals that the ID card data will include the following:

Birth and marriage certificate reference numbers

Filiation-relevant information including paternity, maternity and the legitimacy of a child

Social security number

Driver’s license number

PhilHealth and PAGIBIG membership numbers

Passport number

Professional Regulation Commission registration number

Voter’s identification number

The card will also include blood type, biometrics information (including fingerprints), iris scan, and your photo.

A solid IDea?

FilSys aims “to simply process in public services, reduce redundancy and delay in government services and transactions, eliminate multiple
government identification system, bring down administrative costs and expenses, promote greater convenience to the public, facilitate private
business, identify fraudulent transactions and misrepresentations, and prevent the use of false or stolen identities.”

Another part of the system is developing a “resilient” digital infrastructure safeguarded against attempts at data security breaches. This is to
uphold and secure the ID holders’ rights to privacy, confidentiality and access to registered information.

Section 13 of the bill provides protection against unlawful disclosure of information and records. Third parties — including law enforcement
and national security agencies, as well as units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) — will not have access to FilSys data, except

The cardholder expressly authorizes the disclosure of information to a third person, entity, or agency

There are accidents, disasters, or fortuitous events where medical history and relevant information are needed by medical and health service
institutions and workers

Public health or safety requires it

Any competent court orders it

The proponents and supporters of the national ID insist that it has many practical uses, especially in situations requiring disclosure of personal
details and identity. Among these are as transacting with government offices, paying taxes or fees, applying for licenses, certificates, or
permits from any public institution, going into financial transactions for projects sourced from public funds, or even legal transactions before a
notary public.

More than cutting red tape and preventing fraud and questionable transactions, the national ID is also touted by some as the first step to
preventing terrorism and lawlessness.

IDentifying problems

However, it helps to remember that no bill would ever enumerate the disadvantages of the very system it is proposing to implement.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said the House’s Makabayan bloc consulted with information technology experts who agreed that the
national ID has the potential for endangering the security of personal sensitive information. This can also be used in suppressing or violating
human rights.

Educator Christina Garvida is hesitant, but sees the merits of FilSys.

“One number across national agencies, better census info and all that. A national database of fingerprints could make law enforcement easier,
but it could also be abused and used for political persecution.” Garvida adds, “As long as the info is secure, and there won’t be violations of
the right to privacy, it’s okay. Siguro basta huwag lang parang sedula nung panahon ng mga Kastila na kung hindi mo dala sedula mo, kulong
ka. (As long as this isn’t like the cedula system from the time of the Spaniards, in which you can land in jail simply by not having it on your

Retail marketing professional Linette Bautista remains skeptical.

“ID na naman! ‘Yung lisensya ko nga ni-renew ko noong January, wala pa rin ngayon ‘yung card. Ayoko din mag-share ng lahat ng info, not
with this administration anyway.”

To date, the Senate has not yet approved its counterpart bill on the national ID system.

Until then, only vigilance would be the law-abiding Filipino’s first line of defense against any and all forms of potential abuse. This, of course,
includes any invasion of the right to privacy. — MF

Pros & Cons of National ID Cards

A national identification card would be used to prove one's identity to government officials. The idea of using national identification cards
resurfaced after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States and the revelations that some of the hijackers had false identification.

Pro: Immigration Control

An obvious argument for national identification cards is that it will help border agents and other federal officers more quickly determine the
immigration status of individuals. If one is unable to produce a valid card, it could mean that the person did not enter the country legally. The
card would include information about the person, such as height, weight and eye color, and other aspects to make it harder to forge.

Pro: Easier Identification

Today, many retailers ask for photo identification when making purchases with a credit or debit card. While many people use a driver’s
license, a national ID card will also let those without driver’s licenses prove their identity more easily and without hassle. This easier form of
identification can also be used in airports and other facilities that require a form of state-issued identification. An easier form of identification
can also reduce the wait time at airports.

Con: Feasibility
In many countries, it is not feasible to implement a program that would issue national identification cards to its citizens, permanent residents
and legal immigrants. In order to be able to distribute the national identification cards, staff would need to be trained and maintained. It
would also be difficult to ensure that the majority of the population would register for a national identification card. Some, such as the
homeless, might have trouble proving their identities in order to receive a card because of a lack of Social Security numbers or birth

Con: Redundancy

Because most people already have forms of state-issued identification through driver’s licenses, requiring everyone to obtain and carry
another national identification card would be redundant. It would also seem silly because the costs that a national identification card would
incur greatly outweigh the benefit of having two identification cards. There is no point in having a separate national identity card when the
state driver’s license system is already in place.

Con: Possible Invasion of Privacy

National identification cards can be used to track an individual. In order for the national identification card to be usable by the government, a
national database containing personal information would have to be created. This database could be considered an invasion of privacy.
However, if the government chooses not to create this database, then it will be too easy for individuals to commit fraud by having multiple
cards with different identities.


Pros and cons of national ID system


A couple of weeks ago, we tackled the proposition to establish a mandatory SIM card registration system, which, judging from people’s
reactions, remains a polarizing issue even now.

Today, we take up another divisive measure, except that it involves a much larger dataset and has more significant effects, regardless of
which side you’re on.

I’m talking about the idea of having a national ID system. It’s a fairly common tool used by a government to verify the identities of people
who avail of its services or who engage in certain public transactions.

Compared to other measures supported by law enforcement and national security agencies, a national ID debate is more difficult to traverse
because of some positive features that cannot be ignored:

Better delivery of and access to government services. A good universal ID system can make the delivery of and access to public services more
efficient. It reduces cost both to the government and citizens.

Financial Inclusion. An ID system can also address a country’s financial inclusion challenges. It’s been suggested that it could allow
unemployed Filipinos avail of financial and banking services.

Law enforcement. Governments also see ID systems critical when fighting crime and terrorism. In 2016, when a local commercial bank
became involved in a high-profile money laundering case, government agencies echoed calls for a national ID to prevent similar future

Public Safety. A centralized database is also useful during emergencies and other public safety concerns. When the MERS (Middle East
respiratory syndrome) virus broke out in 2014, the Department of Health felt that it could have quickly tracked down people who shared the
same flight as a Filipino who tested positive for the virus if a national ID system was in place.

Social Inclusion. National IDs can promote social inclusion by providing official identification to people that usually have no access to similar

Meanwhile, several issues also form the core of the resistance to this type of measure. They are significant enough to have kept countries like
Australia, New Zealand, and the US from introducing a similar system. They include:

Surveillance and Privacy Rights Violations. A national ID system gives government unprecedented access to a huge cache of its citizens’
personal data. This is the greatest danger it poses to any society, as confirmed by the history of many countries which offer examples of its
abuse or misuse.

Infringements of Other Civil Liberties. Privacy violations usually precede graver human rights abuses. Any government with the ability to keep
tabs on its population via an ID system also has the ability to resort to more oppressive activities, involving other related rights.

Doubts over Its Effectiveness Against Crime and Terrorism. A national ID system is one item in this wish list given by governments, if asked
what do tools they need to combat crime and other threats. This, even if they fail to produce substantial evidence of its effectiveness. Here in
the Philippines, a 2005 report by the Senate Economic Planning Office noted the absence of any proof that a national ID system increases
security against terrorism.

Function Creep. Defined as the use of a tool or system for purposes beyond that originally declared, function creep is a risk to any individual
registered in an ID system. In the draft bill pending at the Senate, the protection against unlawful disclosure of registered information does
not apply if it is in the interest of “public health or safety”. Who makes such determination is not stated.

Costs. Identity management programs are expensive to establish and maintain, and require significant financial commitment from the
government. For 2018, the government has allotted P2 billion to the Philippine Statistics Authority to prepare for the rollout of an ID system.

Data Security. Government ability to protect data under its custody is also cause for concern. The 2016 Comelec breach only reinforced public
perception that the Philippine government is incompetent or poorly equipped to manage and maintain secure information systems. What proof
is there that it will fare better when handling a bigger and more complex system?
Technical Complexity and Logistical Issues. Other factors that make an ID system difficult to implement include: (a) migration; (b) access to
registration centers by citizens and residents; and (c) ill-equipped and unprepared registration centers.

These arguments fuel any debate surrounding national ID systems. They make the subject constantly immersed in controversy and a main
topic of public discourse. In the end, the key to a lasting solution remains finding a balance between legitimate State interests and individual
human rights.

For the Philippines, one positive development has been the passage of the country’s first data protection law—the Data Privacy Act of 2012
(DPA). It provides legal safeguards that ensure the security and protection of personal data, and which now inform all domestic national ID

That said, the DPA alone is not enough to keep any national ID system in check. Especially during these troubling times, we, as a people,
must always be mindful of any effort that gives more power to an administration that is not shy when testing the limits of its authority. At this
point, to still give it an identity management scheme to toy with may already be one measure too many. And we may all live to regret it.

Pros and Cons of Jury System

Pros and Cons of Jury System

The jury system was instituted in the United States so that instead of a judge determining a person’s sentence, a group of peers in that
community would do so. Something magical happens when you put a group of people into a room and let them hear a legal case. The
advantage here is that a personal bias can be reduced in sentencing, but the disadvantage is that a group of biased people could hand down
an unjust sentence.

The Pros of the Jury System

1. It is a judgment that the general public is willing to accept.

If one person is rendering a judgment, it is much easier to question their authority to make that decision. Put a group of people in a room to
make that decision and it becomes easier to accept their outcome.

2. There is a certain level of certainty.

Appeals are available in most nations after a verdict by a jury, but the actual decision-making process is almost never a grounds for appeal as
it would be for a single judge. This provides some certainty to the outcome of a jury trial, no matter what the verdict happens to be.

3. It protects jurors.

It is against the law to attempt to influence a juror in some way. Threatening, intimidation, and other forms of negative contact created
additional charges.

The Cons of the Jury System

1. Most juries don’t just get selected randomly.

Although the jury duty notifications bring in a random group to the courthouse, both sides of a case have the right in most nations to strike a
certain number of jurors from the case to get to the needed number. This means it really isn’t random.

2. Long trials usually create hasty verdicts.

People are forced to interrupt their lives for a trial. When that trial runs for an extended period of time, those in the jury are ready to get life
back to normal. A hasty verdict that doesn’t really care about justice tends to be the outcome and this can put an innocent person behind

3. Most jurors don’t have a background in law.

If there is a charming, influential presentation in court, then that alone may be enough to create sufficient reasonable doubt. Juries are
supposed to look for facts, but a good presentation or their own emotions may cause them to render a verdict that really isn’t just.

The pros and cons of the jury system show that this is one of the fairest methods of enforcing the law that we currently know. No system of
justice is 100% perfect, so there will always be errors. The safety measures in place, however, make the jury system rather reliable.

Advantages Disadvantages

Provides certainty, no retrial (subject to recent reforms but only for serious crimes). On acquittal there can be no retrial (subject to recent reforms but
only for serious crimes).

Retrial available in tainted cases (nobbling)Section 54 Criminal Procedure and Jury nobbling believed to be frequent resulting in wrongful acquittals.
Investigation Act 1996.
No enquiry allowed into jury deliberations after verdict, even if juror
Section 51 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994 creates offence to intimidate or alleges racial or any other type of bias or wrongdoing by the jury.
threaten to harm a juror.

Prosecution and defence "challenges" correct the problems caused by random Jury vetting is against the principle of random selection.

95% of cases dealt with by magistrates, so not a great cost as a percentage spent of Expense of jury trial.
the CJ system.
Defendants manipulate the system.
Public acceptability of jury decisions.

Perverse verdicts enjoy public respect. Perverse verdicts undermine the principle of justice, and the rule of
law. (and are actually very rare)
Avoiding unjust law or precedents without breaking them.
Defying the will of the democratically elected legislature.

Perverse jury verdicts can provide a "criminal equity". Juries return the wrong verdict - series of miscarriages of justice
undermine confidence.

Jurors may be tempted to reach a quick verdict in order to get it over

with and go home.

Law on jury secrecy could allow the innocent to remain convicted

rather than make reasonable enquiries into how verdict was obtained
(R v Mirza)

Involvement of lay people. Trial by peers. Selection of juries to obtain racial mix not allowed.

Juries include many ethnic minorities as a percentage of the whole population (11.5% Ethnic minorities often do not register to vote.
are non-white, British - 2001 census), which is wrongly thought to be higher.
Ethnic minorities do not have the language skills to be effective

Independent of the executive and the judiciary. Can be biased against one party or the other.

With 12 people any bias is likely to be cancelled out Local prejudice can be a problem in particularly emotive
cases Litchfield moved to Exeter for this reason.

Common sense; judge strength of witnesses' evidence themselves. Are mislead by barristers' techniques as to strength of evidence.

Apply common values, e.g. what is "dishonest" Judge has to explain legal matters.

Majority verdicts allow justice when there is a 'rogue' juror. Majority verdicts can convict when there is doubt which should have
been given to the defendant.

Many judges believe jurors usually return the right verdict, very few appeals from jury Easily influenced by impressive barristers, or the judge.

High correlation in USA studies of jury/judge verdicts. Juries not required to give reasons for verdicts.

Judge can correct any unfairness of the array. Insufficient intellect. Cannot follow complicated tax or fraud
cases. Note: can be judge-only trial in some cases.

Provide a barometer of public opinion. Inconsistencies throughout the country.

Young jurors no life experience.

Ordinary honest citizens applying local knowledge and values. Jury members can have a string of convictions not serious enough to
Reputed to do their best according to the law.
Also, disqualified jurors still find their way into the jury box.

Civic duty a rare opportunity for citizenship Role of the jury is merely symbolic of public involvement.

Can become bored during the trial.

Inconvenience and financial loss to jurors.

Efficient system, with 800 years of success. Slow. Some trials e.g. fraud can take many weeks or months.

Lack of research defies assessment.

Character and honesty can be judged by ordinary persons, it does not require legal Horrific cases can seriously affect jurors who have to sit through
skills. harrowing evidence.

Public confidence. The existence of juries distract from real problems in the criminal
justice system people believe their existence means the CJ system is
functioning well.

Defendants can elect jury trial. Many serious cases do not provide for jury trial, for example drink

There is no choice but jury trial in indictable offences, summary trial

cannot be elected.

Juries do understand the burden of proof, and lower it in paedophile cases and child Juries do not understand the burden of proof.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Jury Trial?

By Ugur Nedim | 22/04/2013 | No Comments PRINT

If you go to court in NSW, you will either be tried in a local court by a magistrate, or in the district or supreme court by a judge and jury.

In some cases, you may be tried in the higher courts by a judge alone.
Being tried by a magistrate and being tried by a jury are very different trial experiences, each with their own set of advantages and

Am I likely to be tried by a jury or a magistrate?

Whether you appear in the magistrates court for your offence largely depends on what you have been charged with.

More serious offences are generally tried in the district or supreme court, while minor matters are dealt with in the local court.

In many cases, the charges even for serious offences are laid in the local court to begin with, and then progress to a defended trial by jury at
a later stage if the defendant pleads not guilty.

What are the advantages to a jury trial?

Many people believe that they will get a fairer trial if they appear in front of a jury.

When you are tried by a jury, the idea is that you are being tried by your peers rather than a single magistrate or judge, who may or may not
be able to relate to your personal circumstances.

With a jury trial, the decision is made by a number of people rather than one individual and this can be reassuring for someone who has been
accused of an offence, particularly a serious one with serious potential penalties.

In most states in Australia, the verdict in a jury trial needs to be unanimous, that is, all the jurors need to agree whether the defendant is
innocent or guilty.

In NSW, under certain circumstances and for certain offences, it is acceptable to have a majority verdict, which is where all the jurors bar one

What are the disadvantages of a jury trial?

A jury trial may not always ensure the best outcome for every case.

There are a number of disadvantages to having a trial by jury. As the people on a jury do not generally have a legal background, it is possible
that they may not entirely understand complex legal documents or argument, or in-depth forensic evidence.

Every juror will also have their own personal biases, and this can affect their decision-making.

Minority groups can be disadvantaged at a jury trial, as the majority of jurors are likely to be caucasian.

There is a good chance that, if there are minority members of the jury and the person being tried is also in a minority group, the prosecution
will challenge those members and have them removed.

During jury selection, each side is allowed to remove three potential members of the jury.

How do I know what is best for me?

In situations where you have the choice of having your matter heard at either a local court or a district court, you will need to obtain legal
advice before making a decision.

The best option for you will depend on your personal circumstances, the complexity of the case, and the nature of the charges against you.

The right type of trial can help you make sure you get the best possible outcome for your case.
Federalism in the Philippines(Filipino: Pederalismo sa Pilipinas) is a proposed form of government in the country.


 1History
 2Initiatives
o 2.1Joint Resolution No. 10
o 2.2House Concurrent Resolution No. 15
o 2.3Alvarez proposal
o 2.42018 House Sub-Committee 1 proposal
The concept of a federal government for the Philippines was proposed as early as the Philippine Revolution with Filipino
revolutionaries Emilio Aguinaldo and Apolinario Mabini suggesting dividing the islands into three federal states.[1]
One of the first proponents of federalism in the Philippines in the 21st century is University of the Philippines professor Jose Abueva
who argued that a federal form of government is necessary to more efficiently cater to the needs of the country despite its
diversity.[2] The primary goals of a constitutional amendment is to increase decentralization, greater local power and access to
resources most especially among regions outside Metro Manila which has long been dubbed as rather imperial.[3] Aside from
Abueva, senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. is a prominent supporter of federalism who, since 2001, has advocated for federalism. He
sees the proposed system as a key component in alleviating the Mindanao crisis and appeasing Moro insurgents. Even though the
purpose of Federalism was never intended to appease any followers of any specific ideology of religion. Federalism will also hasten
economic development since resource and financial mobilization is upon each states' or provinces' discretion without significant
constraint from the central government.[4]
Due to the Senate and Congress resolutions supporting charter change, an estimated 13,000 to 15,000 people gathered in Makati in
2009 to protest against administration proposals for constitutional reform. This was in line with speculations that Philippine
president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would use such amendment to extend her hold in office.[5] In addition, Pulse Asia published in
the same year their survey regarding public support towards the proposed charter change. Their report stated that four out of ten
Filipino adults or 42% of all respondents opposed the amendment. Meanwhile, 25% were still undecided and 33% were in favor.
Pulse Asia furthered that from 2006 to 2009, there was no significant change of sentiment against charter change, but indecision
increased by 6%.[6]
Beginning in late 2014, Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte launched a nationwide campaign promoting a charter change for
federalism. During his visit to Cebu City in October of the same year, Duterte stated that federalism will facilitate better delivery of
services to the people.[7] He also saw the current system as "antiquated"[8] where distribution of public funds is disproportionately
biased towards Manila. Aside from the economic aspect, federalism is also seen as the best means to address problems in Mindanao
which suffers the most from ethnoreligious conflicts.[9] He added that the current unitary form of government has not worked well
given the ethnic diversity in the country.[10] In spite of rejecting several calls for candidacy for the 2016 presidential elections, he
also cited his reforms if he were to be president. Parallel to his campaign for federalism, Duterte plans to privatize tax collection and
abolish the Congress to make way for a unicameral legislature, contrary to the originally proposed Joint Resolution No. 10.[11]
Movements for federalism were further intensified since the draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law was submitted by Philippine
president Benigno Aquino III to the Congress in September 10, 2014.[12] If approved, this law establishes the Bangsamoro as an
autonomous region with its own parliamentary government and police force.[13] Approval of the Bangsamoro structure provides
federalism proponents and supporters added confidence to clamor for the national government to enact reforms towards a more
decentralized system for the rest of the country.[8]
President-elect Rodrigo Duterte stated in May 2016 that a plebiscite on the proposed replacement of the unitary state with a federal
one will be held in two years.[14] On December 7, 2016, Duterte signed Executive Order No. 10 creating a consultative committee to
review the 1987 Constitution.[15]

Joint Resolution No. 10[edit]
The resolution might have required the revision of 14 of the 18 Articles of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and the addition of two
new articles. It sought to adopt a federal presidentialbicameral form of government. This proposed resolution was backed by 12
senators of the Philippines: (Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., Edgardo Angara, Rodolfo Biazon, Pia Cayetano, Juan Ponce Enrile, Francis
"Chiz" Escudero, Jinggoy Estrada, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Francis Pangilinan, Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Manuel "Manny"
In 2008, senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. proposed Joint Resolution No. 10, which would revise the current 1987 constitution and have
created eleven autonomous regions out of the Philippine Republic, establishing eleven centers of finance and development in the
The proposal would result in the creation of eleven "states" and one federal administrative region.[18][19]
Proposed designations, capitals,
and geographic extents[17]
States (11)
Lette State Capita
r l
Northern Tuguegara
Luzon o
B Tarlac City
C Tagaytay
D Minparom Mamburao
E Bicol Legazpi
F Catbalogan
G Toledo
H Iloilo City
Northern Cagayan
Mindanao de Oro
J Davao City
K Marawi
Other (1)
Letter Federal Administrative
M Metro Manila

Within the joint resolution are certain proposals such as election of senators based on states, senators representing overseas voters
and the state governor and vice-governor as one team. The Judicial and Bar Council which screens nominees to the judiciary would
be abolished. Geographic locations of the three branches of the government would also be reconsidered. In the proposal,
the legislative department would be transferred to what would become the State of Central Visayas while the judicial
department would be moved somewhere within the State of Northern Luzon. The executive department would remain within the
federal administrative region of Metro Manila.[20]
While Pimentel Jr.'s earlier proposal for a Federal Philippines is to include the area currently governed by the Cordillera
Administrative Region to the Northern Luzon state, Pimentel mentioned on August 2017 two possible setup for the Cordilleras under
a federal government at the North Luzon Federalism Summit: An autonomous Cordillera region within the Northern Luzon state or
the region as a separate federal state from North Luzon due to an existence of an autonomy movement for the region for the long
time and a provision to give autonomy to the Cordilleras is stated in the current Constitution. He also made the same
pronouncements during a live interview with journalist Karen Davila.[21] After the abolition of the Negros Island Region on August 9,
2017, there have been several regional movements driven by the Negrenses of supporting the unification of the twin Negros
provinces (Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental) under one federal state.[22][23]
In January 2018, Pimentel suggested to include Malaysian-administered territory of Sabah as a state to assert Philippine claim over
the disputed territory in a way "acceptable under international laws".[24]
House Concurrent Resolution No. 15[edit]
Rep. Monico O. Puentevella on May 7, 2008, filed House Concurrent Resolution No. 15 which supported Senate Resolution No. 10
backed by 16 senators. Unlike the Nene Pimentel Senate Resolution, Puentevella included the option of holding a constitutional
convention, but excluded the People's Initiative mode.[25] Prospero Nograles, a self-proclaimed advocate of federalism, on May 1,
2008, announced: "This federal system of government is close to my heart as a Mindanaoan leader and I'm sure most of the
leaders in Mindanao will agree that we have long clamored for it. Senate Resolution 10 is a pleasant surprise because the Senate
has a long history of opposing any move to amend the Constitution."[26] The joint Senate resolution called for the creation of 11
federal states in the country, by convening of Congress “into a constituent assembly for the purpose of revising the Constitution to
establish a federal system of government.”
Alvarez proposal[edit]
In 2017, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez's vision for a federal Philippines called for 14 states: 7 in Luzon, 2 in Visayas and 5 in
Mindanao. He also proposed that the capital of the Philippines under a federal government should be somewhere in Negros
island saying that it would be accessible to all people from the three island groups while he added that the state's territory does not
have to be contiguous.[27] Indigenous groups are in favor of the proposal, but are wary of the possibility of a 'no term limit' for
politicians, which is a grave scandal in many Filipino indigenous societies, especially in the Cordilleras.[citation needed] In February 2018,
Alvarez reiterated that he shall input an indigenous state in the Cordilleras in Luzon and an indigenous state in Mindanao, whatever
federal set-up is approved by the President.[28]

Proposed states by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (2017)

Luzon Visayas Mindanao

 Bicol
 Ilocos  Eastern Mindanao
 Metro Manila  Western Mindanao
 Eastern Visayas
 Mimaropa  Unnamed Moro State (Sulu Archipelago)
 Western Visayas
 Central Luzon  Unnamed Moro State (Maguindanao / Lanao del Sur)
 Southern Tagalog  Unnamed I.P. State (Lumads)
 Unnamed I.P. State (Igorot)
2018 House Sub-Committee 1 proposal[edit]
The Sub-Committee 1 of the House of Representatives Committee on Constitutional Amendments proposed that a federal
Philippines would comprise of five states. Each states to be led by a premiere as its executive head will have a State Assembly
according to the proposal. The proposal has been hit by massive criticism due to general lumping and a lack of representation.
According to the proposal, politicians will have 'more than' two consecutive terms, making them eligible to run for office with no
term limit.[29]

Proposed states and capitals

House of Representatives Committee on Constitutional Amendments
(Sub-Committee-1 proposal)[30][31]
Metro Manila

Federalism is the mixed or compound mode of government, combining a general government (the central or 'federal' government) with
regional governments (provincial, state, cantonal, territorial or other sub-unit governments) in a single political system. Its distinctive feature,
exemplified in the founding example of modern federalism by the United States of America under the Constitution of 1787, is a relationship of
parity between the two levels of government established.[1] It can thus be defined as a form of government in which there is a division of
powers between two levels of government of equal status.[2]

Federalism differs from confederalism, in which the general level of government is subordinate to the regional level, and from devolution
within a unitary state, in which the regional level of government is subordinate to the general level.[3] It represents the central form in the
pathway of regional integration or separation,[4] bounded on the less integrated side by confederalism and on the more integrated side by
devolution within a unitary state.[5]

Leading examples of the federation or federal state include the United States, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Argentina, Australia and
India. Some also today characterize the European Union as the pioneering example of federalism in a multi-state setting, in a concept termed
the federal union of states.[6]


The pathway of regional integration or separation

The terms 'federalism' and 'confederalism' both have a root in the Latin word foedus, meaning "treaty, pact or covenant." Their common
meaning until the late eighteenth century was a simple league or inter-governmental relationship among sovereign states based upon a
treaty. They were therefore initially synonyms. It was in this sense that James Madison in Federalist 39 had referred to the new United States
as 'neither a national nor a federal Constitution, but a composition of both' (i.e. neither a single large unitary state nor a league/confederation
among several small states, but a hybrid of the two).[7] In the course of the nineteenth century the meaning of federalism would come to
shift, strengthening to refer uniquely to the novel compound political form, while the meaning of confederalism would remain at a league of
states.[8] Thus, this article relates to the modern usage of the word 'federalism'.

Modern federalism is a system based upon democratic rules and institutions in which the power to govern is shared between national and
provincial/state governments. The term federalist describes several political beliefs around the world depending on context.

Federalism is sometimes viewed as in the context of international negotiation as "the best system for integrating diverse nations, ethnic
groups, or combatant parties, all of whom may have cause to fear control by an overly powerful center."[9] However, in some countries,
those skeptical of federal prescriptions believe that increased regional autonomy is likely to lead to secession or dissolution of the nation.[9]
In Syria, federalization proposals have failed in part because "Syrians fear that these borders could turn out to be the same as the ones that
the fighting parties have currently carved out."[9]

Federations such as Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia collapsed as soon as it was possible to put the model to the test.[10]

Explanations for adoption of federalist systems

According to Daniel Ziblatt's Structuring the State, there are four competing theoretical explanations in the academic literature for the
adoption of federal systems:

Ideational theories, which hold that a greater degree of ideological commitment to decentralist ideas in society makes federalism more likely
to be adopted.

Cultural-historical theories, which hold that federal institutions are more likely to be adopted in societies with culturally or ethnically
fragmented populations.

"Social contract" theories, which hold that federalism emerges as a bargain between a center and a periphery where the center is not
powerful enough to dominate the periphery and the periphery is not powerful enough to secede from the center.

"Infrastructural power" theories, which hold that federalism is likely to emerge when the subunits of a potential federation already have highly
developed infrastructures (e.g. they are already constitutional, parliamentary, and administratively modernized states).[11]

European vs. American federalism

Main articles: Federal Europe and Federalism in the United States

In Europe, "Federalist" is sometimes used to describe those who favor a common federal government, with distributed power at regional,
national and supranational levels. Most European federalists want this development to continue within the European Union.[citation needed]
European federalism originated in post-war Europe; one of the more important initiatives was Winston Churchill's speech in Zürich in

In the United States, federalism originally referred to belief in a stronger central government. When the U.S. Constitution was being drafted,
the Federalist Party supported a stronger central government, while "Anti-Federalists" wanted a weaker central government. This is very
different from the modern usage of "federalism" in Europe and the United States. The distinction stems from the fact that "federalism" is
situated in the middle of the political spectrum between a confederacy and a unitary state. The U.S. Constitution was written as a reaction to
the Articles of Confederation, under which the United States was a loose confederation with a weak central government.

In contrast, Europe has a greater history of unitary states than North America, thus European "federalism" argues for a weaker central
government, relative to a unitary state. The modern American usage of the word is much closer to the European sense. As the power of the
Federal government has increased, some people have perceived a much more unitary state than they believe the Founding Fathers intended.
Most people politically advocating "federalism" in the United States argue in favor of limiting the powers of the federal government, especially
the judiciary (see Federalist Society, New Federalism).

In Canada, federalism typically implies opposition to sovereigntist movements (most commonly Quebec separatism).
The governments of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, and Mexico, among others, are also organized along federalist principles.

Federalism may encompass as few as two or three internal divisions, as is the case in Belgium or Bosnia and Herzegovina. In general, two
extremes of federalism can be distinguished: at one extreme, the strong federal state is almost completely unitary, with few powers reserved
for local governments; while at the other extreme, the national government may be a federal state in name only, being a confederation in

In 1999, the Government of Canada established the Forum of Federations as an international network for exchange of best practices among
federal and federalizing countries. Headquartered in Ottawa, the Forum of Federations partner governments include Australia, Brazil, Canada,
Ethiopia, Germany, India, Mexico, Nigeria, and Switzerland.

Examples of federalism


Main articles: Federalism in Australia and Federation of Australia

Commonwealth of Australia, consisting of its federal district, Australian Capital Territory (red), the states of New South Wales (pink),
Queensland (blue), South Australia (purple), Tasmania (yellow, bottom), Victoria (green), Western Australia (orange) and the territories of
Northern Territory (yellow, top) and Jervis Bay Territory (not shown).

On the 1st of January 1901 the nation-state of Australia officially came into existence as a federation. The Australian continent was colonised
by the United Kingdom in 1788, which subsequently established six, eventually self-governing, colonies there. In the 1890s the governments
of these colonies all held referendums on becoming a unified, self-governing "Commonwealth" within the British Empire. When all the colonies
voted in favour of federation, the Federation of Australia commenced, resulting in the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia in
1901. The model of Australian federalism adheres closely to the original model of the United States of America, although it does so through a
parliamentary Westminster system rather than a presidential system.


Brazil is a union of 26 states and its federal district, which is the site of the federal capital, Brasília.

See also: States of Brazil

In Brazil, the fall of the monarchy in 1889 by a military coup d'état led to the rise of the presidential system, headed by Deodoro da Fonseca.
Aided by well-known jurist Ruy Barbosa, Fonseca established federalism in Brazil by decree, but this system of government would be
confirmed by every Brazilian constitution since 1891, although some of them would distort some of the federalist principles. The 1937 federal
government had the authority to appoint State Governors (called intervenors) at will, thus centralizing power in the hands of President Getúlio
Vargas. Brazil also uses the Fonseca system to regulate interstate trade. Brazil is one of the biggest federal governments.

The Brazilian Constitution of 1988 introduced a new component to the ideas of federalism, including municipalities as federal entities. Brazilian
municipalities are now invested with some of the traditional powers usually granted to states in federalism, and they are allowed to have a
Constitution like the Constitution of Rio Grande do Sul State


Main article: Canadian federalism

In Canada, the provincial governments derive all their powers directly from the constitution. In contrast, the territories are subordinate to the
federal government and are delegated powers by it.

In Canada the system of federalism is described by the division of powers between the federal parliament and the country's provincial
governments. Under the Constitution Act (previously known as the British North America Act) of 1867, specific powers of legislation are
allotted. Section 91 of the constitution gives rise to federal authority for legislation, whereas section 92 gives rise to provincial powers.

For matters not directly dealt with in the constitution, the federal government retains residual powers; however, conflict between the two
levels of government, relating to which level has legislative jurisdiction over various matters, has been a longstanding and evolving issue.
Areas of contest include legislation with respect to regulation of the economy, taxation, and natural resources.


Main article: Federalism in India

Indian state governments led by various political parties

The Government of India (referred to as the Union Government) was established by the Constitution of India, and is the governing authority
of a federal union of 29 states and 7 union territories.

The government of India is based on a 3 tiered system, in which the Constitution of India delineates the subjects on which each tier of
government has executive powers. The Constitution originally provided for a two-tier system of government, the Union Government (also
known as the Central Government), representing the Union of India, and the State governments. Later, a third tier was added in the form of
Panchayats and Municipalities. In the current arrangement, The Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution delimits the subjects of each
level of governmental jurisdiction, dividing them into three lists:

Union List includes subjects of national importance such as defence of the country, foreign affairs, banking, communications and currency.
The Union Government alone can make laws relating to the subjects mentioned in the Union List.
State List contains subjects of State and local importance such as police, trade, commerce, agriculture and irrigation. The State Governments
alone can make laws relating to the subjects mentioned in the State List.

Concurrent List includes subjects of common interest to both the Union Government as well as the State Governments, such as education,
forest, trade unions, marriage, adoption and succession. Both the Union as well as the State Governments can make laws on the subjects
mentioned in this list. If their laws conflict with each other, the law made by the Union Government will prevail.

Asymmetric federalism

A distinguishing aspect of Indian federalism is that unlike many other forms of federalism, it is asymmetric.[13] Article 370 makes special
provisions for the state of Jammu and Kashmir as per its Instrument of Accession. Article 371 makes special provisions for the states of
Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Sikkim as per their accession or state-hood deals. Also
one more aspect of Indian federalism is system of President's Rule in which the central government (through its appointed Governor) takes
control of state's administration for certain months when no party can form a government in the state or there is violent disturbance in the

Coalition politics

Although the Constitution does not say so, India is now a multilingual federation.[13] India has a multi-party system, with political allegiances
frequently based on linguistic, regional and caste identities,[14] necessitating coalition politics, especially at the Union level.


Main article: Federalism in Nigeria


This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (November 2016)


Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy.

South Africa

Main article: Federalism in South Africa

Although South Africa bears some elements of a federal system, such as the allocation of certain powers to provinces, it is nevertheless
constitutionally and functionally a unitary state.[15]

Federalism in Europe

Several federal systems exist in Europe, such as in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Union.

In Britain, an Imperial Federation was once seen as (inter alia) a method of solving the Home Rule problem in Ireland; federalism has long
been proposed[by whom?] as a solution to the "Irish Problem", and more lately, to the "West Lothian question".[16]

French Revolution

During the French Revolution, especially in 1793, "federalism" had an entirely different meaning. It was a political movement to weaken the
central government in Paris by devolving power to the provinces.[17][18]

European Union

Following the end of World War II, several movements began advocating a European federation, such as the Union of European Federalists
and the European Movement, founded in 1948. Those organizations exercised influence in the European unification process, but never in a
decisive way.[citation needed]

Although the drafts of both the Maastricht treaty and the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe mentioned federalism, the reference
never made it to the text of the treaties adopted by consensus. The strongest advocates of European federalism have been Germany, Italy,
Belgium and Luxembourg while those historically most strongly opposed have been the United Kingdom, Denmark and France (with
conservative heads of state and governments).[citation needed] Since the presidency of François Mitterrand (1981-1995), the French
authorities have adopted a much more pro-European Unification position, as they consider that a strong EU is presenting the best "insurance"
against a unified Germany which might become too strong and thus a threat for its neighbours.

Those uncomfortable using the “F” word in the EU context should feel free to refer to it as a quasi-federal or federal-like system.
Nevertheless, for the purposes of the analysis here, the EU has the necessary attributes of a federal system. It is striking that while many
scholars of the EU continue to resist analyzing it as a federation, most contemporary students of federalism view the EU as a federal system
(See for instance, Bednar, Filippov et al., McKay, Kelemen, Defigueido and Weingast). (R. Daniel Kelemen)[19]


Federal states of Germany

Main article: States of Germany

Main article: Federalism in Germany

Germany and the EU present the only examples of federalism in the world where members of the federal "upper houses" (the German
Bundesrat (Federal Council) and the European Council) are neither elected nor appointed but comprise members or delegates of the
governments of their constituents. The United States had a similar system until 1913, where prior to the 17th Amendment, Senators were
delegates of the state elected by the state legislatures rather than the citizens.
Already the Holy Roman Empire, the Confederation of the Rhine, the German Confederation, the North German Confederation, the German
Empire and the Weimar Republic were federal complexes of territories of different political structures. Modern Germany abandoned federalism
only during Nazism (1933–1945) and in the DDR (German Democratic Republic a.k.a. East Germany) from 1952 to 1990. Adolf Hitler viewed
federalism as an obstacle to his goals. As he wrote in Mein Kampf, "National Socialism must claim the right to impose its principles on the
whole German nation, without regard to what were hitherto the confines of federal states."[page needed]

Accordingly, the idea of a strong, centralized government has very negative connotations in German politics, although the progressive political
movements in Germany (Liberals, Social Democrats) were advocating at the time of the Second German Empire (1871-1918) to abolish (or to
reshape) the majority of German federated states of that era, as they were considered to be mostly monarchist remnances of the feudal
structures of the Middle Ages.[20]

Russian Federation

Main article: Russian federalism

Federal subjects of Russia

The post-Imperial nature of Russian subdivision of government changed towards a generally autonomous model which began with the
establishment of the USSR (of which Russia was governed as part). It was liberalized in the aftermath of the Soviet Union, with the reforms
under Boris Yeltsin preserving much of the Soviet structure while applying increasingly liberal reforms to the governance of the constituent
republics and subjects (while also coming into conflict with Chechen secessionist rebels during the Chechen War). Some of the reforms under
Yeltsin were scaled back by Vladimir Putin.

All of Russia's subdivisional entities are known as subjects, with some smaller entities, such as the republics enjoying more autonomy than
other subjects on account of having an extant presence of a culturally non-Russian ethnic minority or, in some cases, majority.

Currently, there are 85 federal subjects of Russia.

United Arab Emirates

The UAE is a federal absolute monarchy of the six ruling families of the United Arab Emirates with Emir of each Emirate being an absolute
monarch and the Emir of Abu Dhabi being also the President of the UAE.

United States

Main article: Federalism in the United States

Federalism in the United States is the evolving relationship between state governments and the federal government of the United States.
American government has evolved from a system of dual federalism to one of associative federalism. In "Federalist No. 46," James Madison
asserted that the states and national government "are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, constituted with different
powers." Alexander Hamilton, writing in "Federalist No. 28," suggested that both levels of government would exercise authority to the citizens'
benefit: "If their [the peoples'] rights are invaded by either, they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress." (1)

The United States is composed of fifty self-governing states and several territories.

Because the states were preexisting political entities, the U.S. Constitution did not need to define or explain federalism in any one section but
it often mentions the rights and responsibilities of state governments and state officials in relation to the federal government. The federal
government has certain express powers (also called enumerated powers) which are powers spelled out in the Constitution, including the right
to levy taxes, declare war, and regulate interstate and foreign commerce. In addition, the Necessary and Proper Clause gives the federal
government the implied power to pass any law "necessary and proper" for the execution of its express powers. Other powers—the reserved
powers—are reserved to the people or the states.[21] The power delegated to the federal government was significantly expanded by the
Supreme Court decision in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), amendments to the Constitution following the Civil War, and by some later
amendments—as well as the overall claim of the Civil War, that the states were legally subject to the final dictates of the federal government.

The Federalist Party of the United States was opposed by the Democratic-Republicans, including powerful figures such as Thomas Jefferson.
The Democratic-Republicans mainly believed that: the Legislature had too much power (mainly because of the Necessary and Proper Clause)
and that they were unchecked; the Executive had too much power, and that there was no check on the executive; a dictator would arise; and
that a bill of rights should be coupled with the constitution to prevent a dictator (then believed to eventually be the president) from exploiting
or tyrannizing citizens. The federalists, on the other hand, argued that it was impossible to list all the rights, and those that were not listed
could be easily overlooked because they were not in the official bill of rights. Rather, rights in specific cases were to be decided by the judicial
system of courts.

After the American Civil War, the federal government increased greatly in influence on everyday life and in size relative to the state
governments. Reasons included the need to regulate businesses and industries that span state borders, attempts to secure civil rights, and
the provision of social services. The federal government acquired no substantial new powers until the acceptance by the Supreme Court of the
Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

From 1938 until 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court did not invalidate any federal statute as exceeding Congress' power under the Commerce
Clause. Most actions by the federal government can find some legal support among the express powers, such as the Commerce Clause,
whose applicability has been narrowed by the Supreme Court in recent years. In 1995 the Supreme Court rejected the Gun-Free School Zones
Act in the Lopez decision, and also rejected the civil remedy portion of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 in the United States v.
Morrison decision. Recently, the Commerce Clause was interpreted to include marijuana laws in the Gonzales v. Raich decision.

Dual federalism holds that the federal government and the state governments are co-equals, each sovereign.

However, since the Civil War Era, the national courts often interpret the federal government as the final judge of its own powers under dual
federalism. The establishment of Native American governments (which are separate and distinct from state and federal government)
exercising limited powers of sovereignty, has given rise to the concept of "bi-federalism."

The Federal War ended in 1863 with the signing of the Treaty of Coche by both the centralist government of the time and the Federal Forces.
The United States of Venezuela were subsequently incorporated under a "Federation of Sovereign States" upon principles borrowed from the
Articles of Confederation of the United States of America. In this Federation, each State had a "President" of its own that controlled almost
every issue, even the creation of "State Armies," while the Federal Army was required to obtain presidential permission to enter any given

However, more than 140 years later, the original system has gradually evolved into a quasi-centralist form of government. While the 1999
Constitution still defines Venezuela as a Federal Republic, it abolished the Senate, transferred competences of the States to the Federal
Government and granted the President of the Republic vast powers to intervene in the States and Municipalities.

Federalism with two components


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Main articles: Belgian federal government; Belgian federal parliament; and Communities, regions and language areas of Belgium

Federalism in the Kingdom of Belgium is an evolving system.

Belgian federalism is a twin system which reflects both the

linguistic communities of the country, French (ca. 40% of the total population), Dutch (ca. 59%), and to a much lesser extent German (ca.
1%) and the

geographically defined Regions (federated States: Brussels-Capital (de facto Greater Brussels), Flanders and Wallonia). The last two
correspond to the language areas in Belgium, Wallonia hosting both the bulk of the French-speaking population and the German-speaking
minority. In Brussels, ca. 80% of the population speaks French and ca. 20% Dutch with the city being an enclave of the Flemish region and
officially a bilingual area.[22]

Flanders is the region associated with Belgium's Dutch-speaking majority, i.e. the Flemish Community.

Due to its relatively small size (approximately one percent) the German-speaking Community of Belgium does not have much influence on
national politics.

Wallonia is a French-speaking area, except for the German-speaking so-called East Cantons (Cantons de l'est). French is the second most
spoken mother tongue of Belgium, after Dutch. Within the French-speaking Community of Belgium, there is a geographical and political
distinction between Wallonia and Brussels for historical and sociological reasons. Historically, the Walloons were for a federalism with three
components and the Flemings for two.[23] This difference is one of the elements which makes the Belgian issue so complicated. The Flemings
wanted to defend their culture while the Walloons wanted to defend their political and economical supremacy they had in the 19th century: It
is true that the Walloon movement, which has never stopped affirming that Wallonia is part of the French cultural area, has never made this
cultural struggle a priority, being more concerned to struggle against its status as a political minority and the economic decline which was only
a corollary to it.[24]

On one hand, this means that the Belgian political landscape, generally speaking, consists of only two components: the Dutch-speaking
population represented by Dutch-language political parties, and the majority populations of Wallonia and Brussels, represented by their
French-speaking parties. The Brussels region emerges as a third component.[25] This specific dual form of federalism, with the special
position of Brussels, consequently has a number of political issues—even minor ones—that are being fought out over the Dutch/French-
language political division. With such issues, a final decision is possible only in the form of a compromise. This tendency gives this dual
federalism model a number of traits that generally are ascribed to confederalism, and makes the future of Belgian federalism

On the other hand, Belgian federalism is federated with three components. An affirmative resolution concerning Brussels' place in the federal
system passed in the parliaments of Wallonia and Brussels.[28][29] These resolutions passed against the desires of Dutch-speaking parties,
who are generally in favour of a federal system with two components (i.e. the Dutch and French Communities of Belgium). However, the
Flemish representatives in the Parliament of the Brussels Capital-Region voted in favour of the Brussels resolution, with the exception of one
party. The chairman of the Walloon Parliament stated on July 17, 2008 that, "Brussels would take an attitude".[30] Brussels' parliament
passed the resolution on July 18, 2008:

The Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region approves with great majority a resolution claiming the presence of Brussels itself at the
negotiations of the reformation of the Belgian State.[29] July 18, 2008

This aspect of Belgian federalism helps to explain the difficulties of partition; Brussels, with its importance, is linked to both Wallonia and
Flanders and vice versa. This situation, however, does not erase the traits of a confederation in the Belgian system.

Other examples

FIAV 111111.svg Official flag of Iraqi Kurdistan Ratio: 2:3

Current examples of two-sided federalism:

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a federation of two entities: Republika Srpska and Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the latter itself a

Historical examples of two-sided federalism include:

Czechoslovakia, until the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic separated in 1993.

The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, from 1992 to 2003 when it became a confederation titled the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. This
confederation expired 2006 as Montenegro declared its independence.

The 1960 Constitution of Cyprus was based on the same ideas, but the union of Greeks and Turks failed.

United Republic of Tanzania (formerly United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar), which was the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

Iraq adapted a federal system on 15 October 2005, and formally recognized the Kurdistan Region as the country's first and currently only
federal region. See Constitution of Iraq for more information regarding Iraq's method of creating federal entities.

The Federal Republic of Cameroun operated between 1961 and 1972

Proposed federalism

It has been proposed in several unitary states to establish a federal system, for various reasons.


Main article: Federalism in China

China is the largest unitary state in the world by both population and land area. Although China has had long periods of central rule for
centuries, it is often argued that the unitary structure of the Chinese government is far too unwieldy to effectively and equitably manage the
country's affairs. On the other hand, Chinese nationalists are suspicious of decentralization as a form of secessionism and a backdoor for
national disunity; still others argue that the degree of autonomy given to provincial-level officials in the People's Republic of China amounts to
a de facto federalism.


Shortly after the 2011 civil war, some people in Cyrenaica (in the eastern region of the country) began to call for the new regime to be
federal, with the traditional three regions of Libya (Cyrenaica, Tripolitania, and Fezzan) being the constituent units. A group calling itself the
"Cyrenaican Transitional Council" issued a declaration of autonomy on 6 March 2012; this move was rejected by the National Transitional
Council in Tripoli.[31][32][33][34]


11 Proposed "States" for the proposed Federal Republic of the Philippines

See also: Federalism in the Philippines

The Philippines is a unitary state with some powers devolved to Local Government Units (LGUs) under the terms of the Local Government
Code. There is also one autonomous region, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Over the years various modifications have been
proposed to the Constitution of the Philippines, including possible transition to a federal system as part of a shift to a semi-presidential
system. In 2004, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo established the Consultative Commission which suggested such a Charter
Change but no action was taken by the Philippine Congress to amend the 1987 Constitution. The push for federalism was again revived under
the administration of Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.


Spain is a unitary state with a high level of decentralisation, often regarded as a federal system in all but name or a "federation without
federalism".[35] The country has been quoted as being "an extraordinarily decentralized country", with the central government accounting for
just 18% of public spending,[36] 38% for the regional governments, 13% for the local councils, and the remaining 31% for the social security
system.[37] The current Spanish constitution has been implemented in such a way that, in many respects, Spain can be compared to
countries which are undeniably federal.[38]

However, in order to manage the tensions present in the Spanish transition to democracy, the drafters of the current Spanish constitution
avoided giving labels such as 'federal' to the territorial arrangements.[39] Besides, unlike in the federal system, the main taxes are taken
centrally from Madrid (except for the Basque Country and Navarre, which were recognized in the Spanish democratic constitution as charter
territories drawing from historical reasons) and then distributed to the Autonomous Communities.

An explicit and legal recognition of federalism as such is promoted by parties such as Podemos, United Left and, more recently, the Spanish
Socialist Workers' Party. The Spanish Socialist party has recently considered the idea of enshrining a federal Spain, in part, due to the increase
of the Spanish peripheral nationalisms and the Catalan proposal of self-determination referenda for creating a Catalan state in Catalonia,
either independent or within Spain.[40][41][42]

Sri Lanka

Main article: Federalism in Sri Lanka


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Main article: Federalization of Syria


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United Kingdom
Map of the Countries of the United Kingdom and Regions of England

The United Kingdom has traditionally been governed as a unitary state by the Westminster Parliament in London. Instead of adopting a
federal model, the UK has relied on gradual devolution to decentralise political power. Devolution in the UK began with the Government of
Ireland Act 1914 which granted home rule to Ireland as a constituent country of the former United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Following the partition of Ireland in 1921 which saw the creation of the sovereign Irish Free State (which eventually evolved into the modern
day Republic of Ireland), Northern Ireland retained its devolved government through the Parliament of Northern Ireland, the only part of the
UK to have such a body at this time. This body was suspended in 1972 and Northern Ireland was governed by direct rule during the period of
conflict known as The Troubles.

In modern times, a process of devolution in the United Kingdom has decentralised power once again. Since the 1997 referendums in Scotland
and Wales and the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, three of the four constituent countries of the UK now have some level of
autonomy. Government has been devolved to the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland
Assembly.[43][44] England does not have its own parliament and English affairs continue to be decided by the Westminster Parliament. In
1998 a set of eight unelected Regional assemblies, or chambers, was created to support the English Regional Development Agencies, but
these were abolished between 2008 and 2010. The Regions of England continue to be used in certain governmental administrative functions.

Critics of devolution often cite the West Lothian question, which refers to the voting power of non-English MPs on matters affecting only
England in the UK Parliament. Scottish and Welsh nationalism have been increasing in popularity, and since the Scottish independence
referendum, 2014 there has been a wider debate about the UK adopting a federal system with each of the four home nations having its own,
equal devolved legislatures and law-making powers.[45]

UK federal government was proposed as early as 1912 by the Member of Parliament for Dundee, Winston Churchill, in the context of the
legislation for Irish Home Rule. In a speech in Dundee on 12 September, he proposed that England should also be governed by regional
parliaments, with power devolved to areas such as Lancashire, Yorkshire, the Midlands and London as part of a federal system of

Federalism as the anarchist and libertarian socialist mode of political organization

Main article: Decentralization § Libertarian socialist decentralization

Anarchists are against the State but are not against political organization or "governance"—so long as it is self-governance utilizing direct
democracy. The mode of political organization preferred by anarchists, in general, is federalism or confederalism. However, the anarchist
definition of federalism tends to differ from the definition of federalism assumed by pro-state political scientists. The following is a brief
description of federalism from section I.5 of An Anarchist FAQ:

"The social and political structure of anarchy is similar to that of the economic structure, i.e., it is based on a voluntary federation of
decentralized, directly democratic policy-making bodies. These are the neighborhood and community assemblies and their confederations. In
these grassroots political units, the concept of "self-management" becomes that of "self-government", a form of municipal organisation in
which people take back control of their living places from the bureaucratic state and the capitalist class whose interests it serves.


The key to that change, from the anarchist standpoint, is the creation of a network of participatory communities based on self-government
through direct, face-to-face democracy in grassroots neighborhood and community assemblies [meetings for discussion, debate, and decision


Since not all issues are local, the neighborhood and community assemblies will also elect mandated and re-callable delegates to the larger-
scale units of self-government in order to address issues affecting larger areas, such as urban districts, the city or town as a whole, the
county, the bio-region, and ultimately the entire planet. Thus the assemblies will confederate at several levels in order to develop and co-
ordinate common policies to deal with common problems.


This need for co-operation does not imply a centralized body. To exercise your autonomy by joining self-managing organisations and,
therefore, agreeing to abide by the decisions you help make is not a denial of that autonomy (unlike joining a hierarchical structure, where
you forsake autonomy within the organisation). In a centralized system, we must stress, power rests at the top and the role of those below is
simply to obey (it matters not if those with the power are elected or not, the principle is the same). In a federal system, power is not
delegated into the hands of a few (obviously a "federal" government or state is a centralized system). Decisions in a federal system are made
at the base of the organisation and flow upwards so ensuring that power remains decentralized in the hands of all. Working together to solve
common problems and organize common efforts to reach common goals is not centralization and those who confuse the two make a serious
error -- they fail to understand the different relations of authority each generates and confuse obedience with co-operation."[48]

Christian Church

See also: Subsidiarity

Federalism also finds expression in ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church). For example, presbyterian church governance resembles
parliamentary republicanism (a form of political federalism) to a large extent. In Presbyterian denominations, the local church is ruled by
elected elders, some of which are ministerial. Each church then sends representatives or commissioners to presbyteries and further to a
general assembly. Each greater level of assembly has ruling authority over its constituent members. In this governmental structure, each
component has some level of sovereignty over itself. As in political federalism, in presbyterian ecclesiology there is shared sovereignty.

Other ecclesiologies also have significant representational and federalistic components, including the more anarchic congregational
ecclesiology, and even in more hierarchical episcopal ecclesiology.
Some Christians argue that the earliest source of political federalism (or federalism in human institutions; in contrast to theological federalism)
is the ecclesiastical federalism found in the Bible. They point to the structure of the early Christian Church as described (and prescribed, as
believed by many) in the New Testament. In their arguments, this is particularly demonstrated in the Council of Jerusalem, described in Acts
chapter 15, where the Apostles and elders gathered together to govern the Church; the Apostles being representatives of the universal
Church, and elders being such for the local church. To this day, elements of federalism can be found in almost every Christian denomination,
some more than others.

Constitutional structure

Division of powers

Not to be confused with separation of powers.

In a federation, the division of power between federal and regional governments is usually outlined in the constitution. Almost every country
allows some degree of regional self-government, in federations the right to self-government of the component states is constitutionally
entrenched. Component states often also possess their own constitutions which they may amend as they see fit, although in the event of
conflict the federal constitution usually takes precedence.

In almost all federations the central government enjoys the powers of foreign policy and national defense as exclusive federal powers. Were
this not the case a federation would not be a single sovereign state, per the UN definition. Notably, the states of Germany retain the right to
act on their own behalf at an international level, a condition originally granted in exchange for the Kingdom of Bavaria's agreement to join the
German Empire in 1871. Beyond this the precise division of power varies from one nation to another. The constitutions of Germany and the
United States provide that all powers not specifically granted to the federal government are retained by the states. The Constitution of some
countries like Canada and India, on the other hand, state that powers not explicitly granted to the provincial governments are retained by the
federal government. Much like the US system, the Australian Constitution allocates to the Federal government (the Commonwealth of
Australia) the power to make laws about certain specified matters which were considered too difficult for the States to manage, so that the
States retain all other areas of responsibility. Under the division of powers of the European Union in the Lisbon Treaty, powers which are not
either exclusively of European competence or shared between EU and state as concurrent powers are retained by the constituent states.

Satiric depiction of late 19th century political tensions in Spain

Where every component state of a federation possesses the same powers, we are said to find 'symmetric federalism'. Asymmetric federalism
exists where states are granted different powers, or some possess greater autonomy than others do. This is often done in recognition of the
existence of a distinct culture in a particular region or regions. In Spain, the Basques and Catalans, as well as the Galicians, spearheaded a
historic movement to have their national specificity recognized, crystallizing in the "historical communities" such as Navarre, Galicia, Catalonia,
and the Basque Country. They have more powers than the later expanded arrangement for other Spanish regions, or the Spain of the
autonomous communities (called also the "coffee for everyone" arrangement), partly to deal with their separate identity and to appease
peripheral nationalist leanings, partly out of respect to specific rights they had held earlier in history. However, strictly speaking Spain is not a
federalism, but a decentralized administrative organization of the state.

It is common that during the historical evolution of a federation there is a gradual movement of power from the component states to the
centre, as the federal government acquires additional powers, sometimes to deal with unforeseen circumstances. The acquisition of new
powers by a federal government may occur through formal constitutional amendment or simply through a broadening of the interpretation of
a government's existing constitutional powers given by the courts.

Usually, a federation is formed at two levels: the central government and the regions (states, provinces, territories), and little to nothing is
said about second or third level administrative political entities. Brazil is an exception, because the 1988 Constitution included the
municipalities as autonomous political entities making the federation tripartite, encompassing the Union, the States, and the municipalities.
Each state is divided into municipalities (municípios) with their own legislative council (câmara de vereadores) and a mayor (prefeito), which
are partly autonomous from both Federal and State Government. Each municipality has a "little constitution", called "organic law" (lei
orgânica). Mexico is an intermediate case, in that municipalities are granted full-autonomy by the federal constitution and their existence as
autonomous entities (municipio libre, "free municipality") is established by the federal government and cannot be revoked by the states'
constitutions. Moreover, the federal constitution determines which powers and competencies belong exclusively to the municipalities and not
to the constituent states. However, municipalities do not have an elected legislative assembly.

Federations often employ the paradox of being a union of states, while still being states (or having aspects of statehood) in themselves. For
example, James Madison (author of the US Constitution) wrote in Federalist Paper No. 39 that the US Constitution "is in strictness neither a
national nor a federal constitution; but a composition of both. In its foundation, it is federal, not national; in the sources from which the
ordinary powers of the Government are drawn, it is partly federal, and partly national..." This stems from the fact that states in the US
maintain all sovereignty that they do not yield to the federation by their own consent. This was reaffirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the
United States Constitution, which reserves all powers and rights that are not delegated to the Federal Government as left to the States and to
the people.


The structures of most federal governments incorporate mechanisms to protect the rights of component states. One method, known as
'intrastate federalism', is to directly represent the governments of component states in federal political institutions. Where a federation has a
bicameral legislature the upper house is often used to represent the component states while the lower house represents the people of the
nation as a whole. A federal upper house may be based on a special scheme of apportionment, as is the case in the senates of the United
States and Australia, where each state is represented by an equal number of senators irrespective of the size of its population.

Alternatively, or in addition to this practice, the members of an upper house may be indirectly elected by the government or legislature of the
component states, as occurred in the United States prior to 1913, or be actual members or delegates of the state governments, as, for
example, is the case in the German Bundesrat and in the Council of the European Union. The lower house of a federal legislature is usually
directly elected, with apportionment in proportion to population, although states may sometimes still be guaranteed a certain minimum
number of seats.

Intergovernmental relations
In Canada, the provincial governments represent regional interests and negotiate directly with the central government. A First Ministers
conference of the prime minister and the provincial premiers is the de facto highest political forum in the land, although it is not mentioned in
the constitution.

Constitutional change

Federations often have special procedures for amendment of the federal constitution. As well as reflecting the federal structure of the state
this may guarantee that the self-governing status of the component states cannot be abolished without their consent. An amendment to the
constitution of the United States must be ratified by three-quarters of either the state legislatures, or of constitutional conventions specially
elected in each of the states, before it can come into effect. In referendums to amend the constitutions of Australia and Switzerland it is
required that a proposal be endorsed not just by an overall majority of the electorate in the nation as a whole, but also by separate majorities
in each of a majority of the states or cantons. In Australia, this latter requirement is known as a double majority.

Some federal constitutions also provide that certain constitutional amendments cannot occur without the unanimous consent of all states or of
a particular state. The US constitution provides that no state may be deprived of equal representation in the senate without its consent. In
Australia, if a proposed amendment will specifically impact one or more states, then it must be endorsed in the referendum held in each of
those states. Any amendment to the Canadian constitution that would modify the role of the monarchy would require unanimous consent of
the provinces. The German Basic Law provides that no amendment is admissible at all that would abolish the federal system.

Other technical terms

Fiscal federalism – the relative financial positions and the financial relations between the levels of government in a federal system.

Formal federalism (or 'constitutional federalism') – the delineation of powers is specified in a written constitution, which may or may not
correspond to the actual operation of the system in practice.

Executive federalism refers in the English-speaking tradition to the intergovernmental relationships between the executive branches of the
levels of government in a federal system and in the continental European tradition to the way constituent units 'execute' or administer laws
made centrally.

Federalism as a political philosophy

Main article: Federalist

The meaning of federalism, as a political movement, and of what constitutes a 'federalist', varies with country and historical context.[citation
needed] Movements associated with the establishment or development of federations can exhibit either centralising or decentralising
trends.[citation needed] For example, at the time those nations were being established, factions known as "federalists" in the United States
and Australia advocated the formation of strong central government. Similarly, in European Union politics, federalists mostly seek greater EU
integration. In contrast, in Spain and in post-war Germany, federal movements have sought decentralisation: the transfer of power from
central authorities to local units. In Canada, where Quebec separatism has been a political force for several decades, the "federalist" impulse
aims to keep Quebec inside Canada.

Federalism as a conflict reducing device

Federalism, and other forms of territorial autonomy, is generally seen as a useful way to structure political systems in order to prevent
violence among different groups within countries because it allows certain groups to legislate at the subnational level.[49] Some scholars have
suggested, however, that federalism can divide countries and result in state collapse because it creates proto-states.[50] Still others have
shown that federalism is only divisive when it lacks mechanisms that encourage political parties to compete across regional boundaries.[51]
Jury trial

A jury trial, or trial by jury, is a lawful proceeding in which a jury makes a decision or findings of fact. It is distinguished from a bench trial in
which a judge or panel of judges makes all decisions.

Jury trials are used in a significant share of serious criminal cases in almost all common law lawful systems (Singapore, for example, is an
exception), and juries or lay judges have been incorporated into the legal systems of many civil law countries for criminal cases. Only the
United States makes routine use of jury trials in a wide variety of non-criminal cases. Other common law legal jurisdictions use jury trials only
in a very select class of cases that make up a tiny share of the overall civil docket (like defamation suits in England and Wales), but true civil
jury trials are almost entirely absent elsewhere in the world. Some civil law jurisdictions, however, have arbitration panels where non-legally
trained members decide cases in select subject-matter areas relevant to the arbitration panel members' areas of expertise.

The availability of a trial by jury in American jurisdictions varies. Because the United States legal system separated from that of the English
one at American Revolution, the types of proceedings that use juries depends on whether such cases were tried by jury under English
common law at that time rather than the methods used in English courts now. For example, at the time, English "courts of law" tried cases of
torts or private law for monetary damages using juries, but "courts of equity" that tried civil cases seeking an injunction or another form of
non-monetary relief did not. As a result, this practice continues in American civil laws, but in modern English law, only criminal proceedings
and some inquests are likely to be heard by a jury.

The use of jury trials, which evolved within common law systems rather than civil law systems, has had a profound impact on the nature of
American civil procedure and criminal procedure rules, even if a bench trial is actually contemplated in a particular case. In general, the
availability of a jury trial if properly demanded has given rise to a system in which fact finding is concentrated in a single trial rather than
multiple hearings, and appellate review of trial court decisions is greatly limited. Jury trials are of far less importance (or of no importance) in
countries that do not have a common law system.



Ancient Athens had a mechanism, called dikastaí, to assure that no one could select jurors for their own trial. For normal cases, the courts
were made up of dikastai of up to 500 citizens.[1] For capital cases – those that involved death, loss of liberty, exile, loss of civil rights, or
seizure of property – the trial was before a jury of 1,001 to 1,501 dikastai. In such large juries, the unanimity rule would be unrealistic, and
verdicts were reached by majority. Juries were appointed by lot. Jurists cast a ceramic disk with an axle in its middle: the axle was either
hollow or solid. Thus the way they voted was kept secret because the jurists would hold their disk by the axle by thumb and forefinger, thus
hiding whether its axle was hollow or solid. Since Periclean times, jurists were compensated for their sitting in court, with the amount of one
day's wages.

The institution of trial by jury was ritually depicted by Aeschylus in the Eumenides, the third and final play of his Oresteia trilogy. In the play,
the innovation is brought about by the goddess Athena, who summons twelve citizens to sit as jury. The god Apollo takes part in the trial as
the advocate for the defendant Orestes and the Furies as prosecutors for the slain Clytaemnestra. In the event the jury is split six to six, and
Athena dictates that in such a case, the verdict should henceforth be for acquittal.


From the beginning of the republic and in the majority of civil cases towards the end of the empire, there were tribunals with the
characteristics of the jury, the Roman judges being civilian, lay and not professional. Capital trials were held in front of juries composed of
hundreds or thousands of people in the commitias or centuries, the same as in Roman trials.[clarification needed] Roman law provided for the
yearly selection of judices, who would be responsible for resolving disputes by acting as jurors, with a praetor performing many of the duties
of a judge. High government officials and their relatives were barred from acting as judices, due to conflicts of interest. Those previously
found guilty of serious crimes (felonies) were also barred as were gladiators for hire, who likely were hired to resolve disputes through trial by
combat. The law was as follows:

"The peregrine praetor (literally, traveling judge) within the next ten days after this law is passed by the people or plebs shall provide for the
selection of 450 persons in this State who have or have had a knight's census... provided that he does not select a person who is or has been
plebeian tribune, quaestor, triumvir capitalis, military tribune in any of the first four legions, or triumvir for granting and assigning lands, or
who is or has been in the Senate, or who has fought or shall fight as a gladiator for hire... or who has been condemned by the judicial process
and a public trial whereby he cannot be enrolled in the Senate, or who is less than thirty or more than sixty years of age, or who does not
have his residence in the city of Rome or within one mile of it, or who is the father, brother, or son of any above-described magistrate, or who
is the father, brother, or son of a person who is or has been a member of the Senate, or who is overseas."[2]

Holy Roman Empire

A Swabian ordinance of 1562 called for the summons of jurymen (urtheiler), and various methods were in use in Emmendingen, Oppenau,
and Oberkirch.[3] Hauenstein's charter of 1442 secured the right to be tried in all cases by 24 fellow equals, and in Friburg the jury was
composed of 30 citizens and councilors.[4] The modern jury trial was first introduced in the Rhenish provinces in 1798, with a court consisting
most commonly of 12 citizens (Bürger).[3]

The system whereby citizens were tried by their peers chosen from the entire community in open court was gradually superseded by an
"engine of tyranny and oppression"[5][citation needed] in Germany, in which the process of investigation was secret and life and liberty
depended upon judges appointed by the state.[6] In Constance the jury trial was suppressed by decree of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1786.[4]
The Frankfurt Constitution of the failed Revolutions of 1848 called for jury trials for "the more serious crimes and all political offenses",[7] but
was never implemented after the Frankfurt Parliament was dissolved by Württemberg dragoons. An 1873 draft on criminal procedure
produced by the Prussian Ministry of Justice proposed to abolish the jury and replace it with the mixed system, causing a significant political
debate.[8] In the Weimar Republic the jury was abolished by the Emminger Reform of 4 January 1924.[9]

Between 1948 and 1950 in American-occupied Germany and the Federal Republic of Germany, Bavaria returned to the jury trial as it had
existed before the emergency decrees,[10][11] but they were again abolished by the 1950 Unification Act (Vereinheitlichungsgesetz) for the
Federal Republic. In 1979, the United States tried the East German LOT Flight 165 hijacking suspects in the United States Court for Berlin in
West Berlin, which declared the defendants had the right to a jury trial under the United States Constitution, and hence were tried by a West
German jury.

England and Wales

W. S. Gilbert's Bab Ballads (1920)

Main article: Juries in England and Wales

According to George Macaulay Trevelyan in A Shortened History of England, during the Viking occupation: "The Scandinavians, when not on
the Viking warpath, were a litigious people and loved to get together in the 'thing' to hear legal argument. They had no professional lawyers,
but many of their farmer-warriors, like Njal, the truth-teller, were learned in folk custom and in its intricate judicial procedure. A Danish town
in England often had, as its main officers, twelve hereditary 'law men.' The Danes introduced the habit of making committees among the free
men in court, which perhaps made England favorable ground for the future growth of the jury system out of a Frankish custom later
introduced by the Normans." The English king Æthelred the Unready set up an early legal system through the Wantage Code of Ethelred, one
provision of which stated that the twelve leading thegns (minor nobles) of each wapentake (a small district) were required to swear that they
would investigate crimes without a bias. These juries differed from the modern sort by being self-informing; instead of getting information
through a trial, the jurors were required to investigate the case themselves.[12]

In the 12th century, Henry II took a major step in developing the jury system. Henry II set up a system to resolve land disputes using juries.
A jury of twelve free men were assigned to arbitrate in these disputes. As with the Saxon system, these men were charged with uncovering
the facts of the case on their own rather than listening to arguments in court. Henry II also introduced what is now known as the "grand jury"
through his Assize of Clarendon. Under the assize, a jury of free men was charged with reporting any crimes that they knew of in their
hundred to a "justice in eyre", a judge who moved between hundreds on a circuit. A criminal accused by this jury was given a trial by ordeal.

The Church banned participation of clergy in trial by ordeal in 1215. Without the legitimacy of religion, trial by ordeal collapsed. The juries
under the assizes began deciding guilt as well as providing accusations. The same year, trial by jury became an explicit right in one of the
most influential clauses of Magna Carta. Article 39 of the Magna Carta read:

Nullus liber homo capiatur, vel imprisonetur, aut desseisetur de libero tenemento, vel libertatibus, vel liberis consuetudinibus suis, sut
utlagetur, aut exuletur, aut aliquo modo destruatur, nec super eum ibimus, nec super eum mittemus, nisi per legale judicium parium suorum,
vel per legem terrae. It is translated thus by Lysander Spooner in his Essay on the Trial by Jury: "No free man shall be captured, and or
imprisoned, or disseised of his freehold, and or of his liberties, or of his free customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor
will we proceed against him by force or proceed against him by arms, but by the lawful judgment of his peers, and or by the law of the land."
Although it says and or by the law of the land, this in no manner can be interpreted as if it were enough to have a positive law, made by the
king, to be able to proceed legally against a citizen. The law of the land was the consuetudinary law, based on the customs and consent of
John's subjects, and since they did not have Parliament in those times, this meant that neither the king nor the barons could make a law
without the consent of the people. According to some sources, in the time of Edward III, by the law of the land had been substituted by due
process of law, which in those times was a trial by twelve peers.

The Magna Carta of 1215[13] further secured trial by jury by stating that

For a trivial offence, a free man shall be fined only in proportion to the degree of his offence, and for a serious offence correspondingly, but
not so heavily as to deprive him of his livelihood. In the same way, a merchant shall be spared his merchandise, and a husbandman the
implements of his husbandry, if they fall upon the mercy of a royal court. None of these fines shall be imposed except by the assessment on
oath of reputable men of the neighbourhood.

Earls and barons shall be fined only by their equals, and in proportion to the gravity of their offence.

To any man whom we have deprived or dispossessed of lands, castles, liberties, or rights, without the lawful judgement of his equals, we will
at once restore these.

If we have deprived or dispossessed any Welshmen of lands, liberties, or anything else in England or in Wales, without the lawful judgement
of their equals, these are at once to be returned to them. A dispute on this point shall be determined in the Marches by the judgement of
equals. English law shall apply to holdings of land in England, Welsh law to those in Wales, and the law of the Marches to those in the
Marches. The Welsh shall treat us and ours in the same way.

During the mid-14th Century, persons who had sat on the Presenting Jury (i.e., in modern parlance, the Grand Jury) were forbidden to sit on
the trial jury for that crime. 25 Edward III stat 5., c3 (1353). Medieval juries were self-informing, in that individuals were chosen as jurors
because they either knew the parties and the facts, or they had the duty to discover them. This spared the government the cost of fact-
finding.[14] Over time, English juries became less self-informing and relied more on the trial itself for information on the case. Jurors
remained free to investigate cases on their own until the 17th century. The Magna Carta being forgotten after a succession of benevolent
reigns (or, more probably, reigns limited by the jury and the barons, and only under the rule of laws that the juries and barons found
acceptable), the kings, through the royal judges, began to extend their control over the jury and the kingdom. In David Hume's History of
England, he tells something of the powers that the kings had accumulated in the times after the Magna Carta, the prerogatives of the crown
and the sources of great power with which these monarchs counted:

One of the most ancient and most established instruments of power was the court of Star Chamber, which possessed an unlimited
discretionary authority of fining, imprisoning, and inflicting corporal punishment, and whose jurisdiction extended to all sorts of offenses,
contempts, and disorders, that lay not within reach of the common law. The members of this court consisted of the privy council and the
judges; men who all of them enjoyed their offices during pleasure: And when the prince himself was present, he was the sole judge, and all
the others could only interpose with their advice. There needed but this one court in any government, to put an end to all regular, legal, and
exact plans of liberty. For who durst set himself in opposition to the crown and ministry, or aspire to the character of being a patron of
freedom, while exposed to so arbitrary a jurisdiction? I much question, whether any of the absolute monarchies in Europe contain, at present,
so illegal and despotic a tribunal. While so many terrors hung over the people, no jury durst have acquitted a man, when the court was
resolved to have him condemned. The practice also, of not confronting witnesses to the prisoner, gave the crown lawyers all imaginable
advantage against him. And, indeed, there scarcely occurs an instance, during all these reigns, that the sovereign, or the ministers, were ever
disappointed in the issue of a prosecution. Timid juries, and judges who held their offices during pleasure, never failed to second all the views
of the crown. And as the practice was anciently common of fining, imprisoning, or otherwise punishing the jurors, merely at the discretion of
the court, for finding a verdict contrary to the direction of these dependent judges; it is obvious, that juries were then no manner of security
to the liberty of the subject.
The first paragraph of the Act that abolished the Star Chamber repeats the clause on the right of a citizen to be judged by his peers:

Abolition of the Star Chamber

July 5, 1641

An act for the regulating of the privy council, and for taking away the court commonly called the star-chamber.

WHEREAS by the great charter many times confirmed in parliament, it is enacted, That no freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or disseised
of his freehold or liberties, or free customs, or be outlawed or exiled or otherwise destroyed, and that the King will not pass upon him, or
condemn him; but by lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land…

In 1670 two Quakers charged with unlawful assembly, William Penn and William Mead, were found not guilty by a jury. The judge then fined
the jury for contempt of court for returning a verdict contrary to their own findings of fact and removed them to prison until the fine was paid.
Edward Bushel, a member of the jury, nonetheless refused to pay the fine.

Bushel petitioned the Court of Common Pleas for a writ of habeas corpus. The ruling in the Bushel's Case was that a jury could not be
punished simply on account of the verdict it returned.

Many British colonies, including the United States, adopted the English common law system in which trial by jury is an important part. Jury
trials in criminal cases were a protected right in the original United States Constitution and the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments of the
U.S. Constitution extend the rights to trial by jury to include the right to jury trial for both criminal and civil matters and a grand jury for
serious cases.


In most common law jurisdictions, the jury is responsible for finding the facts of the case, while the judge determines the law. These "peers
of the accused" are responsible for listening to a dispute, evaluating the evidence presented, deciding on the facts, and making a decision in
accordance with the rules of law and their jury instructions. Typically, the jury only judges guilt or a verdict of not guilty, but the actual
penalty is set by the judge. An interesting innovation was introduced in Russia in the judicial reform of Alexander II: unlike in modern jury
trials, jurors decided not only whether the defendant was guilty or not guilty, but they had the third choice: "Guilty, but not to be punished,"
since Alexander II believed that justice without morality was wrong.

In France and some countries organized in the same fashion, the jury and several professional judges sit together to determine guilt first.
Then, if guilt is determined, they decide the appropriate penalty.[15]

Some jurisdictions with jury trials allow the defendant to waive their right to a jury trial, thus leading to a bench trial. Jury trials tend to occur
only when a crime is considered serious. In some jurisdictions, such as France and Brazil, jury trials are reserved, and compulsory, for the
most severe crimes and are not available for civil cases. In Brazil, for example, trials by jury are applied in cases of voluntary crimes against
life, such as first and second degree murder, forced abortion and instigation of suicide, even if only attempted. In others, such as the United
Kingdom, jury trials are only available for criminal cases and very specific civil cases (defamation, malicious prosecution, civil fraud and false
imprisonment). In the United States, jury trials are available in both civil and criminal cases. In Canada, an individual charged with an
indictable offence may elect to be tried by a judge alone in a provincial court, by judge alone in a superior court, or by judge and jury in a
superior court; summary offences cannot be tried by jury.

In the United States, because jury trials tend to be high profile, the general public tends to overestimate the frequency of jury trials.
Approximately 150,000 jury trials are conducted in state courts annually,[16] and an additional 5,000 jury trials are conducted in federal
courts. Two-thirds of jury trials are criminal trials, while one-third are civil and "other" (e.g., family, municipal ordinance, traffic).
Nevertheless, the vast majority of criminal cases are settled by plea bargain,[17][18] which removes the need for a jury trial.

Some commentators contend that the guilty-plea system unfairly coerces defendants into relinquishing their right to a jury trial.[19] Others
contend that there never was a golden age of jury trials, but rather that juries in the early nineteenth century (before the rise of plea
bargaining) were "unwitting and reflexive, generally wasteful of public resources and, because of the absence of trained professionals, little
more than slow guilty pleas themselves", and that the guilty-plea system that emerged in the latter half of the nineteenth century was a
superior, more cost-effective method of achieving fair outcomes.[20]

Pros and cons

In countries where jury trials are common, juries are often seen as an important check against state power. Other common assertions about
the benefits of trial by jury is that it provides a means of interjecting community norms and values into judicial proceedings and that it
legitimizes the law by providing opportunities for citizens to validate criminal statutes in their application to specific trials. Alexis de Tocqueville
also claimed that jury trials educate citizens about self-government. Many also believe that a jury is likely to provide a more sympathetic
hearing, or a fairer one, to a party who is not part of the government – or other establishment interest – than would representatives of the

This last point may be disputed. For example, in highly emotional cases, such as child rape, the jury may be tempted to convict based on
personal feelings rather than on conviction beyond reasonable doubt.[citation needed] In France, former attorney, then later minister of
Justice Robert Badinter, remarked about jury trials in France that they were like "riding a ship into a storm", because they are much less
predictable than bench trials.

Another issue with jury trials is the potential for jurors to be swayed by prejudice, including racial considerations. Infamous cases include the
Scottsboro Boys, a group of nine African American teenagers accused of raping two White American women on a train in 1931, for which they
were indicted by an all-white jury, the acquittal of two white men Roy Bryant and J. W. Milan by an all-white jury for the murder of 14 year
old Emmett Till in 1955 (they admitted killing him in a magazine interview a year later), and the 1992 trial in the Rodney King case in
California, in which white police officers were acquitted of excessive force in the violent beating of a black man by a jury consisting mostly of
whites without any black jurors.[21]

The positive belief about jury trials in the U.K. and the U.S. contrasts with popular belief in many other nations, in which it is considered
bizarre and risky for a person's fate to be put into the hands of untrained laymen. Consider Japan, for instance, which used to have optional
jury trials for capital or other serious crimes between 1928 and 1943. The defendant could freely choose whether to have a jury or trial by
judges, and the decisions of the jury were non-binding. During the Tōjō-regime this was suspended, arguably stemming from the popular
belief that any defendant who risks his fate on the opinions of untrained laymen is almost certainly guilty.

Jury trials in multi-cultural countries with a history of ethnic tensions may be problematic, and lead to juries being unduly biased and partial.

A major issue in jury trials is the secretive nature of the process. While proponents may say that secrecy allows the jury to remain impartial by
protecting it from undue pressure or attention, opponents contend that this prevents there from being a transparent trial. The fact that juries
do not often have to give a reason for their verdict is also criticized, since opponents argue it is unfair for a person to be deprived of life,
liberty or property without being told why it is being done so. In contrast where there is a decision by a judge or judges, they are required to
provide often detailed reasons of both fact and law as to why their decision was made.

One issue that has been raised is the ability of a jury to fully understand statistical or scientific evidence. It has been said that the expectation
of jury members as to the explanatory power of scientific evidence has been raised by television in what is known as the CSI effect. In at
least one English trial the misuse or misunderstanding or misrepresentation by the prosecution of statistics has led to wrongful conviction.[22]

In various jurisdictions


The Australian Constitution provides that: "80. The trial on indictment of any offence against any law of the Commonwealth shall be by jury,
and every such trial shall be held in the State where the offence was committed, and if the offence was not committed within any State the
trial shall be held at such place or places as the Parliament prescribes."[23][24]

The first trials by civilian juries of 12 in the colony of New South Wales were held in 1824, following a decision of the NSW Supreme Court on
14 October 1824.[25] The NSW Constitution Act of 1828 effectively terminated trial by jury for criminal matters. Jury trials for criminal matters
revived with the passing of the Jury Trials Amending Act of 1833 (NSW) (2 William IV No 12).[26]

Challenging potential jurors

The voir dire system of examining the jury pool before selection is not permitted in Australia as it violates the privacy of jurors. Therefore,
though it exists, the right to challenge for cause during jury selection cannot be employed much. Peremptory challenges are usually based on
the hunches of counsel and no reason is needed to use them. All Australian states allow for peremptory challenges in jury selection, however,
the number of challenges granted to the counsels in each state are not all the same. Until 1987 New South Wales had twenty peremptory
challenges for each side where the offence was murder, and eight for all other cases. In 1987 this was lowered to three peremptory
challenges per side, the same amount allowed in South Australia. Eight peremptory challenges are allowed for both counsels for all offences in
Queensland. Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory allow for six. Western Australia allows five peremptory challenges per side.[27]

Majority and unanimous verdicts in criminal trials

See also: Hung jury

In Australia majority verdicts are allowed in South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, New South Wales
and Queensland, while the ACT require unanimous verdicts. Since 1927 South Australia has permitted majority verdicts of 11:1, and 10:1 or
9:1 where the jury has been reduced, in criminal trials if a unanimous verdict cannot be reached in four hours.[28] They are accepted in all
cases except for "guilty" verdicts where the defendant is on trial for murder or treason. Victoria has accepted majority verdicts with the same
conditions since 1994, though deliberations must go on for six hours before a majority verdict can be made. Western Australia accepted
majority verdicts in 1957 for all trials except where the crime is murder or has a life sentence. A 10:2 verdict is accepted. Majority verdicts of
10:2 have been allowed in Tasmania since 1936 for all cases except murder and treason if a unanimous decision has not been made within
two hours. Since 1943 verdicts of "not guilty" for murder and treason have also been included, but must be discussed for six hours. The
Northern Territory has allowed majority verdicts of 10:2, 10:1 and 9:1 since 1963 and does not discriminate between cases whether the
charge is murder or not. Deliberation must go for at least six hours before delivering a majority verdict. The Queensland Jury Act 1995 (s 59F)
allows majority verdicts for all crimes except for murder and other offences that carry a life sentence, although only 11:1 or 10:1 majorities
are allowed. Majority verdicts were introduced in New South Wales in 2006.[29][citation needed] In New South Wales, a majority verdict can
only be returned if the jury consists of at least 11 jurors and the deliberation has occurred for at least 8 hours or for a period that the court
considers reasonable having regard to the nature and complexity of the case.[30] Additionally, the court must be satisfied through
examination of one or more of the jurors on oath, that a unanimous verdict will not be reached if further deliberation were to occur.[30]


Austria, in common with a number of European civil law jurisdictions, retains elements of trial by jury in serious criminal cases.


Belgium, in common with a number of European civil law jurisdictions, retains the trial by jury through the Court of Assize for serious criminal
cases and for political crimes and for press delicts (except those based on racism or xenophobia), and for crimes of international law, such as
genocide and crime against humanity.


Under Canadian law, a person has the constitutional right to a jury trial for all crimes punishable by five years of imprisonment or more. The
Criminal Code also provides for the right to a jury trial for most indictable offences, including those punishable by less than five years
imprisonment, though the right is only constitutionally enshrined for those offences punishable by five years imprisonment or more. Generally,
it is the accused person who is entitled to elect whether their trial will proceed by judge alone or by judge and jury; however, for the most
severe criminal offences—murder, treason, alarming Her Majesty, intimidating Parliament, inciting to mutiny, sedition, and piracy—trial by jury
is mandatory unless the prosecution consents to trial by judge alone.

See also: Section Eleven of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms § Right to trial by jury

Jury panel exhaustion Criminal Code Section 642(1): If a full jury and alternate jurors cannot be provided, the court may order the sheriff or
other proper officer, at the request of the prosecutor, to summon without delay as many people as the court directs for the purpose of
providing a full jury and alternate jurors. Section 642(2): Jurors may be summoned under subsection (1) by word of mouth, if necessary.
Section 642(3): The names of the people who are summoned under this Section shall be added to the general panel for the purposes of the
trial, and the same proceedings with respect to calling, challenging, excusing and directing them shall apply to them.

According to the case of R v Mid-Valley Tractor Sales Limited (1995 CarswellNB 313), there are limitations on the powers granted by Section
642. These powers are conferred specifically upon the judge, and the section does not confer a further discretion to delegate that power to
others, such as the sheriff’s officer, even with the consent of counsel. The Court said that to hold otherwise would nullify the rights of the
accused and the prosecution to object to a person being excused inappropriately, and may also interfere with the rights of the parties to
challenge for cause. The selection of an impartial jury is the basis of a fair trial. The Supreme Court of Canada also held in Basarabas and
Spek v The Queen (1982 SCR 730) that the right of an accused to be present in court during the whole of his trial includes the jury selection
process. In Tran v The Queen (1994 2 SCR 951), it was held that an accused only has to show that they were excluded from a part of the trial
that affected their vital interests, they do not have to demonstrate actual prejudice, just the potential for prejudice. As well, a valid waiver of
such a right must be clear, unequivocal and done with full knowledge of the rights that the procedure was enacted to protect, as well as the
effect that the waiver will have on those rights.


In France, a defendant is entitled to a jury trial only when prosecuted for a felony (crime in French) that is an offence which may bring least
15 years' imprisonment (for natural persons) or a fine of €75,000 (for legal persons). The only court that tries by jury is the cour d'assises, in
which three professional judges sit together with six or nine jurors. Conviction requires a two-thirds majority (six or eight votes).


The country that originated the concept of the jury trial retains it in an unusual form. Serious crimes in Greece are tried by a panel of three
professional judges and four lay jurors who decide the facts, and the appropriate penalty if they convict.


Being a Common Law jurisdiction, Gibraltar retains jury trial in a similar manner to that found in England and Wales, the exception being that
juries consist of nine lay people, rather than twelve.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong, as a former British colony has a common law legal system. Article 86 of Hong Kong's Basic Law, which came into force on 1 July
1997 following the handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China provides: "The principle of trial by jury previously practised in Hong Kong
shall be maintained."

Criminal trials in the High Court are by jury. The juries are generally made of seven members, who can return a verdict based on a majority of

There are no jury trials in the District Court, which can impose a sentence of up to seven years imprisonment. This is despite the fact that all
court rooms in the District Court have jury boxes. The lack of juries in the District Court has been severely criticized. Clive Grossman SC in a
commentary in 2009 said conviction rates were "approaching those of North Korea".[32]

Many complex commercial cases are prosecuted in the District Court rather than before a jury in the High Court. In 2009, Lily Chiang, former
chairwoman of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, lost an application to have her case transferred from the District Court to the
High Court for a jury trial. Justice Wright in the Court of First Instance held that there was no absolute right to a trial by jury and that the
"decision as to whether an indictable offence be tried in the Court of First Instance by a judge and jury or in the District Court by a judge
alone is the prerogative of the Secretary for Justice."[33] Chiang issued a statement at the time saying "she was disappointed with the
judgment because she has been deprived of a jury trial, an opportunity to be judged by her fellow citizens and the constitutional benefit
protected by the Basic Law".[34]

In civil cases in the Court of First Instance jury trials are available for defamation, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution or seduction
unless the court orders otherwise. A jury can return a majority verdict in a civil case.[35]


The first case decided by an English jury in India happened in Madras in 1665, for which Ascentia Dawes (probably a British woman) was
charged by a grand jury with the murder of her slave girl, and a petty jury, with six Englishmen and six Portuguese, found her not guilty.[36]
With the development of the East India Company empire in India, the jury system was implemented inside a dual system of courts: In
Presidency Towns (Calcutta, Madras, Bombay), there were Crown Courts and in criminal cases juries had to judge British and European
people (as a privilege) and in some cases Indian people; and in the territories outside the Presidency Towns (called "moffussil"), there were
Company Courts (composed with Company officials) without jury to judge most of the cases implying indigenous people.[36]

After the Crown Government of India (Raj) adopted the Indian Penal Code (1860) and the Indian Code of Criminal Procedure (1861, amended
in 1872, 1882, 1898), the criminal jury was obligatory only in the High Courts of the Presidency Towns; elsewhere, it was optional and rarely
used.[36] According sections 274 and 275 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the jury was composed from 3 (for smaller offences judged in
session courts) to 9 (for severe offences judges in High Courts) men; and when the accused were European or American, at least half of the
jurors had to be European or American men.[36]

The jury found no place in the 1950 Indian Constitution, and it was ignored in many Indian states.[36] The Law Commission recommended its
abolition in 1958 in its 14th Report.[36] Jury trials were abolished in India in most courts except for Matrimonial Disputes of Parsis by a very
discrete process during the 1960s, finishing with the 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure, which is still in force today.[36]

Parsis in India can LEGALLY use Jury System to decide divorces wherein randomly selected members called `delegates` from the community
decide the fact of the matrimonial disputes of Parsis. Jury system for Parsi Matrimonial dispute cases is a mix of Panchayat system and Jury
system found in US etc. countries. The law which governs this is `The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936` as amended in 1988. [37]

Without any proper study comparing existing judicial systems and without any effort to improve the system, it was claimed that the 8:1
acquittal of Kawas Nanavati in K. M. Nanavati vs. State of Maharashtra, which was overturned by higher courts on the grounds that the jury
was misled by the presiding judge and were susceptible to media and public influence, was the reason. A study by Elisabeth Kolsky argues
that many "perverse verdicts" were delivered by white juries in trial of "European British subjects" charged with murder, assault, confinement
of Indians.[36]


In the Republic of Ireland, a common law jurisdiction, jury trials are available for criminal cases before the Circuit Court, Central Criminal
Court and defamation cases, consisting of twelve jurors.

Juries only decide questions of fact; they have no role in criminal sentencing in criminal cases or awarding damages in libel cases. It is not
necessary that a jury be unanimous in its verdict. In civil cases, a verdict may be reached by a majority of nine of the twelve members. In a
criminal case, a verdict need not be unanimous where there are not fewer than eleven jurors if ten of them agree on a verdict after
considering the case for a reasonable time.

Juries are selected from a jury panel, which is picked at random by the county registrar from the electoral register. The principal statute
regulating the selection, obligations and conduct of juries is the Juries Act 1976 as amended by the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act
2008, which scrapped the upper age limit of 70. Juries are not paid, nor do they receive travel expenses. They do receive lunch for the days
that they are serving; however, for jurors in employment, their employer is required to pay them as if they were present at work.

For certain terrorist and organised crime offences the Director of Public Prosecutions may issue a certificate that the accused be tried by the
Special Criminal Court composed of three judges instead of a jury, one from the District Court, Circuit Court and High Court.


The Corte d'Assise is composed of 2 judges and 6 laypersons chosen at random among Italian citizens 30 to 65 years old. Only serious crimes
like murder can be tried by the Corte d'Assise.


Main article: Lay judges in Japan

On May 28, 2004, the Diet of Japan enacted a law requiring selected citizens to take part in criminal court trials of certain severe crimes to
make decisions together with professional judges, both on guilt and on the sentence. These citizens are called saiban-in (裁判員 "lay judge").
The saiban-in system was implemented in May 2009.

New Zealand

New Zealand previously required jury verdicts to be passed unanimously, but since the passing of the Criminal Procedure Bill in 2009 the
Juries Act 1981[38] has permitted verdicts to be passed by a majority of one less than the full jury (that is an 11-1 or a 10-1 majority) under
certain circumstances.


Norway has a system where the lower courts (tingrett) is set with a judge and two lay-judges, or in bigger cases two judges and three lay-
judges. All of these judges convict or acquit, and set sentences. Simple majority is required in all cases, which means that the lay-judges are
always in control.

In the higher court/appellate court (lagmannsrett) there is a jury (lagrette) of 10 members, which need a minimum of seven votes to be able
to convict. The judges have no say in the jury deliberations, but jury-instructions are given by the chief-judge (lagmann) in each case to the
jury before deliberations. The voir-dire is usually set with 16 prospective jurors, which the prosecution and defense may dismiss the 6 persons
they do not desire to serve on the jury.

This court (lagmannsretten) is administered by a three-judge panel (usually 1 lagmann and 2 lagdommere), and if 7 or more jury members
want to convict, the sentence is set in a separate proceeding, consisting of the three judges and the jury foreman (lagrettens ordfører) and
three other members of the jury chosen by ballot. This way the laymen are in control of both the conviction and sentencing, as simple
majority is required in sentencing.

The three-judge panel can set aside a jury conviction or acquittal if there has been an obvious miscarriage of justice. In that event, the case is
settled by three judges and four lay-judges.

In May 2015, the Norwegian Parliament asked the government to bring an end to jury trials, replacing them with a bench trial (meddomsrett)
consisting of two law-trained judges and three lay judges (lekdommere).[39] This has not been fully implemented yet as of February 2016,
but is expected soon.


In the judiciary of Russia, for serious crimes the accused has the option of a jury trial consisting of 12 jurors.[40] The number of jury trials
remains small, at about 600 per year, out of about 1 million trials.[41] A juror must be 25 years old, legally competent, and without a criminal
record.[40] The 12 jurors are selected by the prosecution and defense from a list of 30–40 eligible candidates.[40] The Constitution of Russia
stipulates that, until the abolition of the death penalty, all defendants in a case that may result in a death sentence are entitled to a jury trial.
Lawmakers are continuously chipping away at what types of criminal offenses merit a jury trial.[41]

They are similar to common law juries, and unlike lay judges, in that they sit separately from the judges and decide questions of fact alone
while the judge determines questions of law.[40] They must return unanimous verdicts during the first 3 hours of deliberation, but may return
majority verdicts after that, with 6 jurors being enough to acquit.[40] They may also request that the judge show leniency in sentencing.[40]

Juries have granted acquittals in 15–20% of cases, compared with less than 1% in cases decided by judges.[41] Juries may be dismissed and
skeptical juries have been dismissed on the verge of verdicts, and acquittals are frequently overturned by higher courts.[41]
Trial by jury was first introduced in the Russian Empire as a result of the Judicial reform of Alexander II in 1864, and abolished after the
October Revolution in 1917.[42] They were reintroduced in the Russian Federation in 1993, and extended to another 69 regions in 2003.[42]
Its reintroduction was opposed by the Prosecutor General.[40]


In Singapore, the jury system was abolished in 1969.[43] Jury trials for all had been earlier abolished in 1959, except for capital offenses with
the death penalty. As Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew described to the BBC and in his memoirs, due to his experiences as a trial lawyer, "I had
no faith in a system that allowed the superstition, ignorance, biases, and prejudices of seven jurymen to determine guilt or innocence."[44]

South Africa

The jury system was abolished in South Africa in 1969 by the Abolition of Juries Act, 1969. The last jury trial to be heard was in the District of
Kimberley. Some judicial experts had argued that a system of whites-only juries (as was the system at that time) was inherently prejudicial to
'non-white' defendants (the introduction of nonracial juries would have been a political impossibility at that time). More recently it has been
argued that, apart from being a racially divided country, South African society was, and still is, characterized by significant class differences
and disparities of income and wealth that could make re-introducing the jury system problematic. Arguments for and against the re-
introduction of a jury system have been discussed by South African constitutional expert Professor Pierre de Vos in the article "Do we need a
jury system?"[45] On 28 March 2014, the Oscar Pistorius trial was adjourned due to the illness of one of the two assessors that assist the
judge on questions of fact (rather than law), in place of the jury, to reach a verdict.[46] The legal system in the UK sees no reason to block
extradition on this, as witnessed in the Shrien Dewani case.[47]


In Sweden, juries are uncommon; the public is represented in the courts by means of lay judges (nämndemän). However, the defendant has
the right to a jury trial in the lower court (tingsrätt) when accused of an offense against the fundamental laws on freedom of expression and
freedom of the press. If a person is accused of e.g. libel or incitement to ethnic or racial hatred, in a medium covered by the fundamental
laws (e.g. a printed paper or a radio programme), she has the right to have the accusation tried by a jury of nine jurors. This applies also in
civil (tort) cases under the fundamental laws. A majority of at least six jurors must find that the defendant has committed the alleged crime. If
it does not, the defendant is acquitted or, in a civil case, held not liable. If such a majority of the jurors hold that said crime has in fact been
committed, this finding is not legally binding for the court; thus, the court (three judges) can still acquit the defendant or find him/her not
liable. A jury acquittal may not be overruled after appeal. In Swedish civil process, the "English rule" applies to court costs. Earlier, a court
disagreeing with a jury acquittal could, when deciding on the matter of such costs, set aside the English rule, and instead use the American
rule, that each party bears its own expense of litigation. This practice was declared to violate the rule of presumption of innocence according
to article 6.2. of the European Convention on Human Rights, by the Supreme Court of Sweden, in 2012.[48]


As of 2008, only the code of criminal procedure of the Canton of Geneva provides for genuine jury trials. Several other cantons – Vaud,
Neuchâtel, Zürich and Ticino – provide for courts composed of both professional judges and laymen (Schöffengerichte / tribunaux d'échevins).
Because the unified Swiss Code of Criminal Procedure (set to enter into force in 2011) does not provide for jury trials or lay judges, however,
they are likely to be abolished in the near future.[49]

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom consists of three separate legal jurisdictions, but there are some features common to all of them. In particular there is
seldom anything like the U.S. voir dire system; jurors are usually just accepted without question. Controversially, in England there has been
some screening in sensitive security cases, but the Scottish courts have firmly set themselves against any form of jury vetting.

England and Wales

Main article: Juries in England and Wales

In England and Wales (which have the same legal system), everyone accused of an offence which carries more than six months imprisonment
has a right to trial by jury. Minor ("Summary only") criminal cases are heard without a jury in the Magistrates' Courts. Middle-ranking ("triable
either way") offences may be tried by magistrates or the defendant may elect trial by jury in the Crown Court. Serious ("indictable") offences,
however, must be tried before a jury in the Crown Court. Juries sit in a few civil cases, in particular, defamation and cases involving the state.
Juries also sit in coroner's courts for more contentious inquests. All criminal juries consist of 12 jurors, those in a County Court having 8 jurors
and Coroner's Court juries having between 7 and 11 members. Jurors must be between 18–75 years of age, and are selected at random from
the register of voters. In the past a unanimous verdict was required. This has been changed[50] so that, if the jury fails to agree after a given
period, at the discretion of the judge they may reach a verdict by a 10-2 majority. This was designed to make it more difficult for jury
tampering to succeed.

In 1999 the then Home Secretary Jack Straw introduced a controversial bill to limit the right to trial by jury.[51] This became the Criminal
Justice Act 2003, which sought to remove the right to trial by jury for cases involving jury tampering or complex fraud. The provision for trial
without jury to circumvent jury tampering succeeded and came into force in 2007, the provision for complex fraud cases was defeated. Lord
Goldsmith, the then Attorney General, then pressed forward[52] with the Fraud (Trials Without a Jury) Bill in Parliament, which sought to
abolish jury trials in major criminal fraud trials. The Bill was subject to sharp criticism from both sides of the House of Commons[53] before
passing its second Commons reading in November 2006,[54] but was defeated in the Lords in March 2007.[55]

The trial for the first serious offence to be tried without a jury for 350 years was allowed to go ahead in 2009.[56] Three previous trials of the
defendants had been halted because of jury tampering, and the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, cited cost and the additional burden on the
jurors as reasons to proceed without a jury. Previously in cases where jury tampering was a concern the jurors were sometimes closeted in a
hotel for the duration of the trial. However, Liberty director of policy Isabella Sankey said that "This is a dangerous precedent. The right to
jury trial isn't just a hallowed principle but a practice that ensures that one class of people don't sit in judgement over another and the public
have confidence in an open and representative justice system.[56]

The trial started in 2010,[57] with the four defendants convicted on the 31st of March 2010 by Mr Justice Treacy at the Old Bailey.[58]

Main article: Trial by jury in Scotland

In Scots law the jury system has some similarities with England but some important differences, in particular there are juries of 15 in criminal
trials, with verdicts by simple majority.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, the role of the jury trial is roughly similar to England and Wales, except that jury trials have been replaced in cases of
alleged terrorist offences by courts where the judge sits alone, known as Diplock courts. Diplock courts are common in Northern Ireland for
crimes connected to terrorism.[59]

Diplock courts were created in the 1970s during The Troubles, to phase out Operation Demetrius internments, and because of the argument
that juries were intimidated, though this is disputed. The Diplock courts were shut in 2007, but between 1 August 2008 and 31 July 2009, 13
non-jury trials were held, down from 29 in the previous year, and 300 trials per year at their peak.[60]

United States

Main article: Juries in the United States

The most outstanding feature in the United States is that verdicts in criminal cases must be unanimous.

Every person accused of a crime punishable by incarceration for more than six months has a constitutionally protected right to a trial by jury,
which arises in federal court from Article Three of the United States Constitution, which states in part, "The Trial of all Crimes...shall be by
Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed." The right was expanded with the Sixth
Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states in part, "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy
and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed." Both provisions were made
applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. Most states' constitutions also grant the right of trial by jury in lesser criminal
matters, though most have abrogated that right in offenses punishable by fine only. The Supreme Court has ruled that if imprisonment is for
six months or less, trial by jury is not required, meaning a state may choose whether or not to permit trial by jury in such cases.[61] Under
the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, if the defendant is entitled to a jury trial, he may waive his right to have a jury, but both the
government (prosecution) and court must consent to the waiver. Several states require jury trials for all crimes, "petty" or not.[62]

In the cases Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000), and Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004), the Supreme Court of the United
States held that a criminal defendant has a right to a jury trial not only on the question of guilt or innocence, but any fact used to increase the
defendant's sentence beyond the maximum otherwise allowed by statutes or sentencing guidelines. This invalidated the procedure in many
states and the federal courts that allowed sentencing enhancement based on "a preponderance of evidence", where enhancement could be
based on the judge's findings alone. Depending upon the state, a jury must be unanimous for either a guilty or not guilty decision. A hung
jury results in the defendants release, however charges against the defendant are not dropped and can be reinstated if the state so chooses.

Jurors in some states are selected through voter registration and drivers' license lists. A form is sent to prospective jurors to pre-qualify them
by asking the recipient to answer questions about citizenship, disabilities, ability to understand the English language, and whether they have
any conditions that would excuse them from being a juror. If they are deemed qualified, a summons is issued.

English common law and the United States Constitution recognize the right to a jury trial to be a fundamental civil liberty or civil right that
allows the accused to choose whether to be judged by judges or a jury.

In the United States, it is understood that juries usually weigh the evidence and testimony to determine questions of fact, while judges usually
rule on questions of law, although the dissenting justices in the Supreme Court case Sparf et al. v. U.S. 156 U.S. 51 (1895), generally
considered the pivotal case concerning the rights and powers of the jury, declared: "It is our deep and settled conviction, confirmed by a re-
examination of the authorities that the jury, upon the general issue of guilty or not guilty in a criminal case, have the right, as well as the
power, to decide, according to their own judgment and consciences, all questions, whether of law or of fact, involved in that issue." Jury
determination of questions of law, sometimes called jury nullification, cannot be overturned by a judge if doing so would violate legal
protections against double jeopardy.[63] Although a judge can throw out a guilty verdict if it was not supported by the evidence, a jurist has
no authority to override a verdict that favors a defendant.[64]

It was established in Bushel's Case that a judge cannot order the jury to convict, no matter how strong the evidence is. In civil cases a special
verdict can be given, but in criminal cases a general verdict is rendered, because requiring a special verdict could apply pressure to the jury,
and because of the jury's historic function of tempering rules of law by common sense brought to bear upon the facts of a specific case. For
this reason, Justice Black and Justice Douglas indicated their disapproval of special interrogatories even in civil cases.[65]

There has been much debate about the advantages and disadvantages of the jury system, the competence or lack thereof of jurors as fact-
finders, and the uniformity or capriciousness of the justice they administer.[66] The jury has been described by one author as "an exciting
and gallant experiment in the conduct of serious human affairs".[67] Because they are fact-finders, juries are sometimes expected to perform
a role similar to a lie detector, especially when presented with testimony from witnesses.[68]

A civil jury is typically made up of 6 to 12 persons. In a civil case, the role of the jury is to listen to the evidence presented at a trial, to decide
whether the defendant injured the plaintiff or otherwise failed to fulfill a legal duty to the plaintiff, and to determine what the compensation or
penalty should be.

A criminal jury is usually made up of 12 members, though fewer may sit on cases involving lesser offenses. Criminal juries decide whether the
defendant committed the crime as charged. The sentence may be set by either the jury or the judge; generally, in felony cases the jury sets
punishment while in lesser offenses it may be set by the judge.

Verdicts in criminal cases must be unanimous, with the following exceptions: Currently, two states, Oregon and Louisiana, do not require
unanimous verdicts in criminal cases. Each requires a 10–2 majority for conviction, except for capital crimes: Oregon requires at least 11 votes
and Louisiana requires all 12.

In civil cases, the law (or the agreement of the parties) may permit a non-unanimous verdict.

A jury's deliberations are conducted in private, out of sight and hearing of the judge, litigants, witnesses, and others in the courtroom.[69]
Not every case is eligible for a jury trial. In the majority of U.S. states, there is no right to a jury trial in family law actions not involving a
termination of parental rights, such as divorce and custody modifications.[70][71] Only eleven states allow juries in any aspect of divorce
litigation (Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin).[70] Most of
these limit the right to a jury to try issues regarding grounds or entitlement for divorce only. Texas provides jury trial rights most broadly,
including even the right to a jury trial on questions regarding child custody.[70][71] However, anyone who is charged with a criminal offense,
breach of contract or federal offence has a Constitutional right to a trial by jury.

Civil trial procedure

In the United States, a civil action is a lawsuit; civil law is the branch of common law dealing with non-criminal actions. It should not be
confused with legal system of civil law.

The right to trial by jury in a civil case in federal court is addressed by the Seventh Amendment. Importantly, however, the Seventh
Amendment does not guarantee a right to a civil jury trial in state courts (although most state constitutions guarantee such a right). The
Seventh Amendment provides: "In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury
shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of
the common law."[72] In Joseph Story's 1833 treatise Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, he wrote, "[I]t is a most
important and valuable amendment; and places upon the high ground of constitutional right the inestimable privilege of a trial by jury in civil
cases, a privilege scarcely inferior to that in criminal cases, which is conceded by all to be essential to political and civil liberty."

The Seventh Amendment does not guarantee or create any right to a jury trial; rather, it preserves the right to jury trial in the federal courts
that existed in 1791 at common law. In this context, common law means the legal environment the United States inherited from England. In
England in 1791, civil actions were divided into actions at law and actions in equity. Actions at law had a right to a jury, actions in equity did
not. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 2 says "[t]here is one form of action – the civil action", which abolishes the legal/equity distinction.
Today, in actions that would have been "at law" in 1791, there is a right to a jury; in actions that would have been "in equity" in 1791, there
is no right to a jury. However, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 39(c) allows a court to use one at its discretion. To determine whether the
action would have been legal or equitable in 1791, one must first look at the type of action and whether such an action was considered "legal"
or "equitable" at that time. Next, the relief being sought must be examined. Monetary damages alone were purely a legal remedy, and thus
entitled to a jury. Non-monetary remedies such as injunctions, rescission, and specific performance were all equitable remedies, and thus up
to the judge's discretion, not a jury. In Beacon Theaters v. Westover, 359 U.S. 500 (1959), the US Supreme Court discussed the right to a
jury, holding that when both equitable and legal claims are brought, the right to a jury trial still exists for the legal claim, which would be
decided by a jury before the judge ruled on the equitable claim.

There is not a United States constitutional right under the Seventh Amendment to a jury trial in state courts, but in practice, almost every
state except Louisiana, which has a civil law legal tradition, permits jury trials in civil cases in state courts on substantially the same basis that
they are allowed under the Seventh Amendment in federal court. The right to a jury trial in civil cases does not extend to the states, except
when a state court is enforcing a federally created right, of which the right to trial by jury is a substantial part.[73]

The court determines the right to jury based on all claims by all parties involved. If the plaintiff brings only equitable claims but the defendant
asserts counterclaims of law, the court grants a jury trial. In accordance with Beacon Theaters, the jury first determines the facts, then the
judge enter judgment on the equitable claims.[74]

Following the English tradition, U.S. juries have usually been composed of 12 jurors, and the jury's verdict has usually been required to be
unanimous. However, in many jurisdictions, the number of jurors is often reduced to a lesser number (such as five or six) by legislative
enactment, or by agreement of both sides. Some jurisdictions also permit a verdict to be returned despite the dissent of one, two, or three
jurors.[75][citation needed]

Waiver of jury trial

The vast majority of U.S. criminal cases are not concluded with a jury verdict, but rather by plea bargain. Both prosecutors and defendants
often have a strong interest in resolving the criminal case by negotiation resulting in a plea bargain. If the defendant waives a jury trial, a
bench trial is held.

For civil cases, a jury trial must be demanded within a certain period of time per Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 38.[76]

In United States Federal courts, there is no absolute right to waive a jury trial. Per Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 23(a), only if the
prosecution and the court consent may a defendant waive a jury trial for criminal cases. However, most states give the defendant the
absolute right to waive a jury trial, and it has become commonplace to find such a waiver in routine contracts as a 2004 Wall Street Journal
Article states:

'For years, in an effort to avoid the slow-moving wheels of the U.S. judicial system, many American companies have forced their customers
and employees to agree to settle disputes outside of the courts, through private arbitration... but the rising cost of arbitration proceedings has
led some companies to decide they might be better off in the court system after all [so long as] they don't have to tangle with juries. The new
tactic [is to] let disputes go to court, but on the condition that they be heard only by a judge.' The article goes on to claim 'The list includes
residential leases, checking-account agreements, auto loans and mortgage contracts. Companies that believe juries are biased toward
plaintiffs hope this approach will boost their chances of winning in court. Critics say that unfairly denies citizens' access to the full range of
legal options guaranteed by the Constitution.'

In the years since this 2004 article, this practice has become pervasive in the US and, especially in online agreements, it has become
commonplace to include such waivers to trial by jury in everything from user agreements attached to software downloads to merely browsing
a website. This practice, however, means that while such waivers may have legal force in one jurisdiction – in this case the United States – in
the jurisdiction where a verdict is sought in the absence of jury trial (or indeed the presence of a defendant, or any legal representation in
absentia) may well run directly counter to law in the jurisdiction – such as the United Kingdom – where the defendant resides, thus:

The Judgment on Regina v Jones issued by the United Kingdom's Court of Appeal's (Criminal Division) states, (in part, in Item 55[77]) '... the
issue has to be determined by looking at the way in which the courts handled the problem under English criminal procedure and by deciding
whether, in the result, the appellant can be said to have had a fair hearing.'