Because of the highly politicized nature of the French judicial system in the nineteenth century, laws governing the selection of jurors were often the subject of strong political debate. There were repeated controversies over which citizens should be jurors and which authorities should draw up the annual jury lists from which the trial panels were drawn. Perhaps no event better reflected the nature of the controversy than the debate which occurred in the National Assembly in 1872, when the conservative government proposed an act which gave the judiciary power to revise the annual jury lists drawn up by elected officials. However, liberal deputies opposed the act because they maintained it gave too much power to a conservative judiciary in determining which citizens should be jurors. The debate in fact went to the heart of the nineteenth-century struggle between the Right and Left.
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