History GCSE: The Jury

Lawyer Harry Potter discusses the development of the common law role of the Jury under Henry II.

Juries of Presentment became more significant as Henry’s roving judges to enforce the common law became more influential. Lawyer Harry Potter explains the role of these juries.

The end of trial by ordeal in 1215 by Pope Innocent III led to further developments in the role of the jury in providing a verdict.

It concludes with an account of the first known English Jury trial in 1220.

This short film is from the BBC series, The Strange Case of the Law.

Teacher Notes

Students could investigate how different the role of a Jury of Presentment was to a modern jury.

Why are juries seen as such a significant development?

Curriculum Notes

This short film will be relevant for teaching GCSE history and social studies. This topic appears in OCR, AQA, Edexcel, WJEC KS4/GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 in Scotland.

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Henry II, Thomas Becket and the Church Courts
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John Lilburne and Habeas Corpus
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Saxon Law - Courts
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Saxon Law - Punishments
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Star Chamber and the Rack
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The Bloody Code
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The Conventicle Act of 1664 and the Independence of the Jury
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The Founding of the Police Force
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The Petition of Right and Habeas Corpus
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Saxon Law - Trial by Ordeal
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