Jury Empanelment

In March 2013 the Commission was asked to review three aspects of jury empanelment for both criminal and civil trials:

  • Whether jurors should be identified in court by name or number 
  • Peremptory challenges (and the Crown right to stand aside in criminal trials)
  • The balloting off of additional jurors.

The terms of reference asked the Commission to consider in particular the effect of these processes on jurors.

The Commission released a consultation paper in October 2013. There were 18 submissions to the review. In addition, there were 381 responses to a juror survey.

The jury empanelment report was tabled in Parliament on 3 September 2014. The Commission made 16 recommendations to improve the way in which juries are selected in court and how additional jurors empanelled for long trials should be managed.

The key recommendations include:

  • To identify jurors by number in court in all criminal and civil cases
  • To retain but reduce the number of peremptory challenges available to parties in order to minimise the opportunity to skew the representativeness of the jury
  • To abolish balloting off
  • To abolish the requirement for jury members to parade in front of the accused.

See below for links to the report, consultation paper and other documents.

Implementation

The Jury Directions and Other Acts Amendment Act 2017 received royal assent on 29 August 2017. It includes an amendment of the Juries Act 2000 to the effect that it is no longer necessary for jurors to 'parade'  in front of an accused during the empanelment process.   

The Justice Legislation Amendment (Court Security, Juries and Other Matters) Act 2017 received royal assent on 29 August 2017.  This Act amends the Juries Act 2000 to reduce the number of peremptory challenges to prospective jurors in criminal and civil trials.

 

Timeline

Current: Table in parliament

Full timeline:

Reference
Consultation
Submissions
Final report
Tabled in parliament
View full timeline

Project Publications

Jury Empanelment Report (pdf)

The Commission's report on its review of jury empanelment was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 3 September 2014. Download a pdf file of the...

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Jury Empanelment Report (html)

The Commission's report on its review of jury empanelment was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 3 September 2014. Navigate this report using the...

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Jury empanelment: received submissions

The Victorian Law Reform Commission received the following submissions in response to the Jury empanelment consultation paper. All public...

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Jury empanelment consultation paper (pdf)

This project is now complete. The Victorian Law Reform Commission was asked to review three aspects of the jury empanelment process: peremptory...

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Jury empanelment - consultation paper (html)

This project is now complete. The Victorian Law Reform Commission was asked to review three aspects of the jury empanelment process: peremptory...

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Jury Empanelment: Terms of Reference

Jury empanelment: The Victorian Law Reform Commission is asked to review and report on whether changes are needed to ensure that the jury empanelment...

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