Tabled in Parliament Date:
One important aspect of jury trials is that they allow citizens to take direct part in our justice system. Consequently, the processes by which juries are empaneled, especially how and which people are included or excluded, is crucial to both community participation and ensuring a fair trial.
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.
- In particular, the terms of reference asked the Commission to consider the effect of these processes on jurors.
Following a consultation paper in October 2013 the Commission received 18 public submissions. In addition, a juror survey produced 381 responses.
The jury empanelment report, tabled in Parliament on 3 September 2014, made 16 recommendations to improve the way juries are selected 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.
- Terms of reference received
- Submissions and consultations
- Submissions closed
- Final Report
- Tabled in parliament