This article refers to legal deliberation; for other meanings of the word refer to its Wiktionary entry.
Legal deliberation is the process in which a jury in a trial in court discusses in private the findings of the court and decides by vote with which argument to agree of either opposing side.
In criminal matters, this can involve both rendering a verdict and determining the appropriate sentence. In civil cases, the decision is whether to agree with the plaintiff or the defendant and the amount and nature of the results of the trial.
Typically, a jury must come to a unanimous decision before delivering a verdict; however, there are exceptions. When a unanimous decision is not reached and the jury feels that one is not possible, they declare themselves a 'hung jury', a mistrial is declared and the trial will have to be redone at the discretion of the parties involved.
This essay is concerned primarily with the role of expertise in public deliberation about health and biomedical research issues -- and, conversely, with the public's role in deliberations that at one time might have been restricted to experts alone.
On this view, the function of expertise is not to set the limits of the possible for public deliberation, but rather to furnish support for the positions of various parties engaged in that deliberation.
And once the deliberation characteristic of science has reached a consensus, it might seem, again, that non-experts are left with no reasonable option but to accept the results; the expert consensus would seem to be rationally uncontestable.
The Citizen Deliberations ranged from day-long discussions centered on Deliberative Opinion Polls® and using a random sample of participants to smaller scale conversations with participants drawn from local community groups.
Deliberation Week was built on public broadcasting's unique local-national base, its commitment to public affairs programming and its mission as a convener of civic dialogue.
BTP's national partners for Deliberation Week were the Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University and the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University.
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