Voir dire is a crucial part of the legal system, as it aims to provide a fair and impartial administration justice. The jury selection process is central to voir dire. It is also an integral part of court trials.
In this guide, we outline the concept of voir dire—what exactly it entails, its history, and its significance. We will explore the impact that voir dire has on the outcome and strategy of legal proceedings.
What is a voir dire?
The easiest definition of voir dire is to question potential jurors as part of the jury selection process. The questioning is primarily done by the attorneys to prospective jurors from the jury pool—although the judge may also ask the jurors questions.
History of the voir dire
The practice of seeing-red dates back to centuries.
The term itself means “to speak the truth” in Anglo-Norman, a dialect of Old French. In the 1760s, William Blackstone discussed voir dire in his Commentaries and described the right to challenge jurors “propter affectum, for suspicion of bias or partiality.” Blackstone lauded the practice as part of the greatness of English…