Once a jury has retired to consider their verdict, they may be allowed to receive further evidence, but only in specific circumstances. These rules have recently been subject to revision, as our criminal defence lawyers explain.

Jury In Retirement

If you have been accused of a criminal offence, contact us at Ashmans Solicitors. We offer free police station representation and are members of the Legal Aid scheme. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The old rule

In the past, once a jury had retired to consider its verdict, no further evidence could be put forward (often described in legal jargon as ‘adduced’). The jury was allowed to ask the judge to repeat evidence, but that was it.

The ruled stated: “The jury may not when they have once retired to consider their verdict be given any additional evidence, any additional matter or material to assist them. They can come back and ask the judge to repeat for their benefit evidence which has been given, but they cannot come back and ask for anything new and the judge must not allow them to have anything new.”

Court of Appeal reviews the rule

In 2021, the Court of Appeal was asked to consider this rule. This resulted in a change of thinking. The Court of Appeal held that new information can be given to jury once it has retired, but only where:

  • It answers a question asked by the jury; and
  • It is neutral or at least incontrovertible; and
  • It is clear that a defendant is not in any way disadvantaged by the stage at which it is admitted

Considering these specific circumstances, the Court of Appeal suggested that it will be very rare for new evidence to be admitted once the jury has retired – but that it is plausible. This is significant, as there is no longer a firm rule prohibiting trial judges from providing additional material to a jury after it has retired.

Is your conviction unsafe?

Where we are representing defendants, we pay close attention to anything ‘out of the ordinary’, including where the jury receives additional evidence after it has retired. If there is any indication that this evidence should not have been adduced, we can discuss whether or not you want to pursue an appeal on the basis that your conviction is unsafe.

If you have been convicted and you want to discuss a possible appeal, contact us at Ashmans Solicitors. Our criminal defence lawyers deal with both sentence and conviction appeals.

Call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also email us on enquiries@ashmanssolicitors.com or complete our Free Online Enquiry Form and we will contact you.