I swear

By Greg Spearritt

Paul Inglis on the UC Forum website alerts us to research on the swearing of the oath (swearing “by Almighty God”) by defendants in trials in the UK, and its effects on jurors.

It would be interesting to see this study done in Australia. How relevant such a declaration might be in the Australian context, in terms of its effect on jurors, is an intriguing question.

Legal trials do bring out some quirky aspects of our culture. Anyone who’s done jury service here knows that it’s one of the few times in your life – as a juror, let alone a defendant – that you must make a very public declaration for or against belief/faith in ‘God’.

Here’s a new option, though: swear by Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot

Disclaimer: views represented in SOFiA blog posts are entirely the view of the respective authors and in no way represent an official SOFiA position. They are intended to stimulate thought, rather than present a final word on any topic.

Photo: G. Spearritt