Presentation on theme: "Stage 3 in the Jury selection process Panel preparation."— Presentation transcript:
Stage 3 in the Jury selection process Panel preparation
Broad cross-section on the community S80 of the Commonwealth Constitution states that individuals have the right to a trial by jury for any indictable offence. The jury should represent a trial by one’s peers meaning that it must be made up of average men and women rather than any individuals seen as holding a position of authority. This is so that the accused feels confident that they are being tried before people like themselves within society and the decision reached is in accordance with the current standards of the general community. This process of a trial by one’s peers ensures the jury contributes to the effective operation of the legal system by providing a fair/ unbiased hearing.
What atributes must jurors possess? Anyone over the age of 18 who is on the electoral role may be randomly selected for jury duty. Anyone who has a previous criminal record eg committed an indictable offence, is on parole or serving a community based order is not eligible for jury duty. Anyone with a physically disability preventing them from performing jury duty, anyone who is a mental health patient, anyone who has an intellectual disability or cannot communicate or understand English is exempt.
You are ineligible for jury duty if, in the last ten years you have been: A member of the police force A member of Parliament A judge, magistrate or holder of any other judicial office An Australian Lawyer Or anyone employed or engaged in the law
What advice does the jury selection notice provide? The letter notifies of the time a person will be required: approximately three weeks before the date required to attend and 7-10 working days for an average length trial. The letter notifies potential jurors that work arrangements must be made for these periods and that an employer must pay wages supplementary to the jury payment ($40 per day for the first 6 days and $80 thereafter.) The letter states that employers are legally obligated to release individuals for jury duty. The form advises that if a person is required for a longer trial they may apply to the judge to be excused for work reasons.
The questionnaire The juror questionnaire requires individuals to list personal information to ensure they meet the criteria to become a juror (that they have not committed indictable offences, served a term of imprisonment, employed in the legal profession ect.) This information determines whether potential jurors are legally eligible for empanelling as if someone ticks the boxes in certain sections they are ineligible.
The questionnaire also provides sections for those who are wishing to defer jury duty for up to six months for a good reason, eg intense school or work commitments, medical appointments or examinations, as well as those who wish to be excused due to age, ill health, a disability, or a substantial distance to be travelled. This determines who is unable to perform jury duty.
More than one case in a particular court? If more than one case is heard before one court on the one day then more jurors will be required. Therefore the Juries Commissioner must notify the Electoral Commissioner that there is a higher estimated number of jurors required for random selection.