Home > All publications > Articles, Juries > The Legal Landscape in Terrorism Trials

By Jacqueline Horan and Jane Goodman-Delahunty

Terrorist fears have led to harsh counter-terrorism laws that may threaten individual liberties, and undermine the right to a fair trial.

This chapter reviews how these harsh laws have developed, illustrated brilliantly by the famous cartoonist Michael Leunig. It also outlines the issues for juries in terrorist trials and how they have been addressed in Australia and overseas. These include:

  • Security issues – jury intimidation, national and witness security
  • Courtroom biases created by terrorism laws and Government policy
  • Harsh treatment of defendants charged with terrorism offences
  • Social biases – out-group stereotypes
  • The biasing effect of pre-trial and in-trial media publicity
  • Information overload – the complexity of terrorism trials
  • Complex terrorism laws
  • Convoluted facts
  • The frustrated jury and juror investigations
  • Jury instructions as an adequate safeguard against bias
  • Alternatives to jury instructions – withholding evidence from jurors.

This chapter is useful for:

  • Students, teachers, researchers – in Law, Psychology and Communications
  • Practitioners of law and criminal justice
  • Police, national security officers and court officials
  • Policymakers.

This chapter is in the book Juries, Science and Popular Culture in the Age of Terror

Buy the chapter