The Cour d'Assises is chaired by a senior judge called the president of the court. It has 9 jurors plus 3 professional judges on first instance, and 12 jurors plus 3 professional judges on appeal. List of possible jurors are drawn at random from the electoral rolls, but the prosecution and the defense can refuse some jurors (without having to bring any justification).
There is one Cour d'Assises in each Département. In the past, their decisions could not be appealed to a Court of Appeals, and until January 1 2001, could only be appealed to the Cour de cassation, which would review the case on questions of procedure and law only, and when overturning, which was uncommon except for capital cases, choose another Cour d'assises to rehear the case. An argument for this situation was that allowing appeals to professional judges after a ruling by a popular jury would in essence deny popular sovereignty. Since 2001, Cour d'assises decisions may be appealed on question of fact to the Cour d'assises of another Departement, which the Cour de cassation will choose, with an extended jury. The case will then be fully retried. Appeals to the Cour de cassation are still possible on procedural questions, jury-based Cours d'assises not being the fittest place to hear them.