The sanctity of the jury room could be breached for the first time in more than three centuries under government plans to consult the public on how to investigate allegations of juror misbehaviour.

A change in the law would end the strict prohibition on jurors disclosing anything said in the privacy of the jury room. The consultation document, to be published next year, will look at ways of investigating juries alleged to have returned guilty verdicts on grounds of racial or other prejudice.

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