Unanimity

Unanimity is complete agreement by everyone. When unanimous, everybody is of same mind and acting together as one. Many groups consider unanimous decisions a sign of agreement, solidarity, and unity.

The legitimacy supposedly established by unanimity has been used by dictatorial regimes in an attempt to gain support for their position. Participants in a legislature may be coerced or intimidated into supporting the position of a dictator, with the legislature becoming little more than a rubber stamp for a more powerful authority.

In the realm of criminal jury trials, many U.S. states and the federal U.S. system require that verdicts be unanimous.

Sources of Legal Authority

In the State of Maryland, article 21 of the Maryland Constitution's Declaration of Rights requires unanimity in all criminal jury trials: "That in all criminal prosecutions, every man hath a right to be informed of the accusation against him; to have a copy of the Indictment, or charge, in due time (if required) to prepare for his defence; to be allowed counsel; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have process for his witnesses; to examine the witnesses for and against him on oath; and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury, "without whose unanimous consent he ought not to be found guilty"." [http://www.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/mdmanual/43const/html/00dec.html]

See also

* Consensus decision-making
* Majority


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  • Unanimity — U na*nim i*ty, n. [L. unanimitas: cf. F. unanimit[ e].] The quality or state of being unanimous. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • unanimity — index accordance (understanding), agreement (concurrence), compatibility, concert, conciliation, consensus …   Law dictionary

  • unanimity — (n.) mid 15c., from O.Fr. unanimite (14c.), from L. unanimitas, from unanimus (see UNANIMOUS (Cf. unanimous)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • unanimity — [[t]ju͟ːnənɪ̱mɪti[/t]] N UNCOUNT When there is unanimity among a group of people, they all agree about something or all vote for the same thing. All decisions would require unanimity …   English dictionary

  • unanimity — /yooh neuh nim i tee/, n. the state or quality of being unanimous; a consensus or undivided opinion: The unanimity of the delegates was obvious on the first ballot. [1400 50; late ME unanimite < MF < L unanimitas, equiv. to unanim(us) UNANIMOUS + …   Universalium

  • unanimity — n. unanimity in * * * unanimityin …   Combinatory dictionary

  • unanimity — visiškas pritarimas statusas Aprobuotas sritis Gynyba apibrėžtis Susitarimas, kuriam būdingas oficialus visų suinteresuotų šalių pritarimas. atitikmenys: angl. unanimity pranc. unanimité ryšiai: susijęs terminas – sutarimas šaltinis NATO… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • unanimity — unanimous ► ADJECTIVE 1) fully in agreement. 2) (of an opinion, decision, or vote) held or carried by everyone involved. DERIVATIVES unanimity noun unanimously adverb. ORIGIN Latin unanimus, from unus one + animus mind …   English terms dictionary

  • unanimity — noun Date: 15th century the quality or state of being unanimous …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • unanimity — noun The condition of complete agreement by all parties, the state of being unanimous …   Wiktionary

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