In courtrooms across Victoria, whether it's a cardinal or a carjacker on trial, it's up to a dozen ordinary citizens to judge their fate.
But that could soon change.
Unlike NSW, Queensland, the ACT, SA and WA, Victoria does not allow judge-alone trials for high-profile and controversial, serious criminal trials.
The state government has considered the move since late 2018.
Since the review was announced, Cardinal George Pell has faced two secret County Court trials over historical child sexual abuse allegations.
The first trial fell apart when the jury could not reach a decision, and this week the second jury's 2019 guilty finding was quashed by the High Court.
Attorney-General Jill Hennessy says the review is still underway.
"The department is reviewing other jurisdictions and talking to stakeholders to determine the need here and I'll carefully consider all the advice provided to me," she said in a statement.
In the legal community, views are mixed.
Former Victorian Supreme Court justice Frank Vincent doesn't think change is needed, calling judge-alone trials a "superficial reaction".
For 16 years he presided over dozens of high-profile cases including the Russell Street bombing trial and the Walsh Street killings.
"I have absolute confidence in the integrity of the ordinary citizen to decide on a matter in a jury," he told AAP.
Judges are often a privileged, elite group, potentially considered out of touch with the wider community, he said.
The idea that a judge would make a better decision than 12 jurors with a wide range of experience and education is "nonsense".
"For jurors it's overwhelming, of course it's tough for them, but it's tough for everybody and they perform a vital role because they do represent the community," he said.
Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses SC says judge-alone trials only work in specific circumstances.
"They are the exception and should remain so," he said.
If the case attracted wide publicity and an individual would not be able to have a fair trial then a judge-alone trial should be considered, he said.
Cardinal Pell's trial and conviction is touted as an example.
Journalists were barred from reporting the cardinal's trial and conviction until prosecutors dropped separate charges to be heard in a second trial.
"Judge-only serious trials have been proposed as a way to avoid having to issue ridiculous suppression orders like the one that applied to George Pell's trial, retrial and verdict," Melbourne University legal professor Jeremy Gans said.
There weren't many cases in Victoria that could not be heard in front of a jury, the legal academic said.
"The closest we came was in one of Peter Dupas' trials - after he was all over TV as a mass murderer - but the High Court unanimously ruled that he could be fairly tried," Prof Gans said.
Dupas is currently serving three life sentences for killing Nicole Patterson, Margaret Maher and Mersina Halvagis.
Criminal Bar Association chair Daniel Gurvich QC is in favour of judge-alone trials for high-profile cases that have attracted saturation media coverage, complex fraud trials and ones involving corporate entities.
"(But) it must be always at the election of the accused because the right to jury trial is fundamental to our justice system and must be protected at all costs," he said.
Allowing judge-alone trials wouldn't "open the floodgates" because most accused people would prefer to be judged by a jury of peers, he added.
Victims and their families also have to be considered with any proposed changes, Victim of Crime Commissioner Fiona McCormack told AAP.
"These are victims who have been traumatised - through no fault of their own - and in terms of being able to heal, to move on with their life, the justice process is so important for that," Ms McCormack said.
Written decisions, removing the possibility of hung juries and shorter trials associated with judge-alone matters were all potential benefits for victims, the commissioner said.
The stress and length of the jury-trial process is also a concern.
But research suggested there were higher acquittal rates with judge-alone trials, she said.
"Which is not experienced as a positive for victims," Ms McCormack said.
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Australian Associated Press