Sortition in French lay juries: A political experience

4. The contemporary world
By Célia Gissinger-Bosse

This chapter examines the random draw that takes place in the case of French lay juries (Assize Court). This type of jury, established during the turmoil of the French revolution, was accompanied by a particular democratic ideology. The context of this in particular shows a distinction between involving citizens and drawing them out. We therefore propose to address the respective challenges of citizen participation in the implementation of justice and the random drawing of these citizens by lots. The present contribution aims to show that while representative government and the professionalization of justice limit the legitimacy of the juror, a lottery allows jurors to undergo a particular democratic experience.


  • jury
  • antiquity
  • political
  • participation
  • drawing lots
  • absolute conviction
  • citizen
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