trier of fact
   HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

A trier of fact or finder of fact is a person or group who determines which
fact A fact is a datum about one or more aspects of a circumstance, which, if accepted as true and proven true, allows a logical conclusion to be reached on a True and false, true–false evaluation. Standard reference works are often used to Fact- ...
s are available in a legal proceeding (usually a
trial In law, a trial is a coming together of Party (law), parties to a :wikt:dispute, dispute, to present information (in the form of evidence (law), evidence) in a tribunal, a formal setting with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate claims or d ...
) and how relevant they are to deciding its outcome. To determine a
fact A fact is a datum about one or more aspects of a circumstance, which, if accepted as true and proven true, allows a logical conclusion to be reached on a True and false, true–false evaluation. Standard reference works are often used to Fact- ...
is to decide, from the
evidence Evidence for a proposition is what supports this proposition. It is usually understood as an indication that the supported proposition is true. What role evidence plays and how it is conceived varies from field to field. In epistemology, evid ...
presented, whether something existed or some event occurred. The factfinder differs by the type of proceeding. In a jury trial, it is the
jury A jury is a sworn body of people (jurors) convened to hear evidence and render an impartiality, impartial verdict (a Question of fact, finding of fact on a question) officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a sentence (law), penalty o ...
; in a non-jury trial, the
judge A judge is a person who wiktionary:preside, presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a Judicial panel, panel of judges. A judge hears all the witnesses and any other Evidence (law), evidence presented by the barristers or s ...
is both the factfinder and the
trier of law Trier ( , ; lb, Tréier ), formerly known in English as Trèves ( ;) and Triers (see also names in other languages), is a city on the banks of the Moselle The Moselle ( , ; german: Mosel ; lb, Musel ) is a river that rises in the V ...
. In administrative proceedings, the factfinder may be a hearing officer or a hearing body.Law Dictionary: Fact-Finder
Accessed 17 November 2008.


Juries

In a jury trial, a
jury A jury is a sworn body of people (jurors) convened to hear evidence and render an impartiality, impartial verdict (a Question of fact, finding of fact on a question) officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a sentence (law), penalty o ...
is the trier of fact. The
jury A jury is a sworn body of people (jurors) convened to hear evidence and render an impartiality, impartial verdict (a Question of fact, finding of fact on a question) officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a sentence (law), penalty o ...
finds the facts and applies them to the relevant
statute A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislature, legislative authority that governs the legal entities of a city, State (polity), state, or country by way of consent. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare Public p ...
or
law Law is a set of rules that are created and are law enforcement, enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. ...
it is instructed by the judge to use in order to reach its
verdict In law, a verdict is the formal trier of fact, finding of fact made by a jury on matters or questions submitted to the jury by a judge. In a bench trial, the judge's decision near the end of the trial is simply referred to as a finding. In Engl ...
. Thus, in a jury trial, the findings of fact are made by the jury while the
judge A judge is a person who wiktionary:preside, presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a Judicial panel, panel of judges. A judge hears all the witnesses and any other Evidence (law), evidence presented by the barristers or s ...
makes legal rulings as to what evidence will be heard by the jury and what legal framework governs the case. Jurors are instructed to strictly follow the law as given by the judge, but are in no way obligated to do so. In some cases this leads to
jury nullification Jury nullification (US/UK), jury equity (UK), or a perverse verdict (UK) occurs when the jury in a trial, criminal trial gives a Acquittal, not guilty verdict despite a defendant having clearly broken the law. The jury's reasons may include the ...
, where the jury's verdict differs from what the law states. In Anglo-American–based legal systems, finding of fact made by the jury is not appealable unless clearly wrong to any reasonable person. This principle is enshrined in the
Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution The Seventh Amendment (Amendment VII) to the United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It superseded the Articles of Confederation, the nation's first const ...
, which provides that "no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law".


Judges

In a
bench trial A bench trial is a trial by judge, as opposed to a trial by jury. The term applies most appropriately to any administrative hearing in relation to a summary offense to distinguish the type of trial. Many legal systems ( Roman, Islamic) use b ...
, judges are professional triers of fact. In a bench trial, the judge makes both findings of fact and rulings of law. The findings of a judge of first instance are not normally disturbed by an appellate court.Lord Shaw of Dunfermline, ''Clarke v. Edinburgh and District Tramways Co''., 1919 S.C.(H.L.) 35, at p 36.


Administrative law judges

In the United States, an
administrative law judge An administrative law judge (ALJ) in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. I ...
(ALJ) both presides over trials (and makes rulings of law) and adjudicates the claims or disputes (in other words, ALJ-controlled proceedings are
bench trial A bench trial is a trial by judge, as opposed to a trial by jury. The term applies most appropriately to any administrative hearing in relation to a summary offense to distinguish the type of trial. Many legal systems ( Roman, Islamic) use b ...
s) involving
administrative law Administrative law is the division of law that governs the activities of government agency, executive branch agencies of Forms of government, government. Administrative law concerns executive branch rule making (executive branch rules are gener ...
, but ALJs are not part of an
independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, area of the United States during the early 1930s * Independen ...
judiciary The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of courts that adjudication, adjudicates legal disputes/disagreements and interprets, defends, and app ...
.


Mixed systems

In mixed systems, such as the
judiciary of Germany The judiciary of Germany is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in Germany. The German legal system is a civil law (legal system), civil law mostly based on a comprehensive compendium of statutes, as compared to the common la ...
, a mixture of both judges and
lay judge A lay judge, sometimes called a lay assessor (law), assessor, is a person assisting a judge in a trial. Lay judges are used in some civil law (legal system), civil law jurisdictions. Lay judges are appointed volunteers and often require some legal i ...
s are triers of fact.


See also

*
Verdict In law, a verdict is the formal trier of fact, finding of fact made by a jury on matters or questions submitted to the jury by a judge. In a bench trial, the judge's decision near the end of the trial is simply referred to as a finding. In Engl ...
* Frye standard


Notes and references

{{DEFAULTSORT:Trier Of Fact In Anglo-American Based Legal Systems Legal procedure