Monday, April 15, 2013

Law Reform Commission of Ireland Report on Jury Service

The Law Reform Commission of Ireland today published a Report on Jury Service. From the press release:
"The Report forms part of the Commission’s Third Programme of Law Reform and examines a number of topics concerning jury service including: whether qualification for jury service should be extended beyond Irish citizens; the categories of persons who are ineligible for jury service; persons who are excusable as of right from jury service; deferral of jury service; disqualification from jury service arising from criminal convictions; jury tampering; juror misconduct, including independent investigations such as internet searches; juror expenses; lengthy and complex jury trials; and empirical research on the jury process (...)"

"The Report takes account of concerns that the existing law and processes for jury selection do not involve selection of juries from panels that are representative of the community. For example, the current jury panels compiled under the Juries Act 1976 are limited to Irish citizens and exclude long term residents including EU citizens; by contrast, Irish citizens resident in England are qualified for jury service there. The 1976 Act also allows a wide group of persons, such as doctors, nurses, teachers and public servants, to be excused “as of right” from jury service in Ireland."

"Other concerns include the extent to which the availability of wireless technology might allow jurors in the jury room to search online for information about an accused rather than limit their decision to the evidence presented. There is also concern that the general right to inspect jury panel lists runs the risk that jury members are open to intimidation or jury tampering. The Report also examines reforms that might be required to deal with lengthy or complex criminal trials."
The Commission looked at the situation in many other jurisdictions, including England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:00 pm


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