Jury Instruction Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Jury Instruction, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Jury Instruction?
They are a set of legal rules and priciples which must be followed by a jury when they are deciding a case.
History and Meaning of Jury Instruction
Jury instructions are a fundamental part of any jury trial. They are prepared by the judge in collaboration with both the prosecution and the defense. Jury instructions set out the "law" that the jury must apply when deciding the facts of the case. The instructions must be carefully crafted in order to ensure that they accurately convey the applicable law without biasing the jury's decision.
Examples of Jury Instruction
In a murder trial, the jury would be given a set of instructions that explain the legal definitions of murder and manslaughter, and they would then be instructed to apply these legal definitions to the facts of the case.
In a breach of contract case, the jury would be given a set of instructions that explain the legal elements of a breach of contract claim, and they would be instructed to apply these legal elements to the facts of the case.
In a patent infringement case, the jury would be given a set of instructions that explain the legal requirements for patent infringement, and they would be instructed to apply these legal requirements to the facts of the case.
Legal Terms Similar to Jury Instruction
Bench Trial: A trial where the judge, rather than a jury, determines the facts of the case and applies the law.
Jury Nullification: When a jury decides to acquit a defendant even though the evidence shows that they are guilty. This can happen when the jury disagrees with the law that they have been instructed to apply.
Burden of Proof: The obligation to prove a disputed fact or issue. In a criminal case, the prosecution has the burden of proving the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.