Afforcement of the Assize Law and Legal Definition

This is an ancient practice in trials by jury which is now obsolete. This is an old English law practice. When a panel of jurors could not agree in a verdict after the cause had been committed, other jurors were added to the panel. If the jurors differ in their findings and cannot agree in one finding, it will be in the discretion of the judges to afforce the assize by others, provided there remain of the summoned jurors many as the major party of the dissenting jurors; or the judges may compel the same jurors to unanimity by directing the sheriff to keep them safely without meat or drink until the jurors agree.

The object behind adding to the panel a number equal to the major party of the dissenting jurors, was to ensure a verdict by twelve jurors, if the jurors thus added to the panel should concur with the minor party of the dissenting jurors. This practice of afforcing the assize, was a second trial of the cause and was abandoned in order to save delay and trouble by insisting upon unanimity.