12 Jul 2011

Option for over-65s to turn down jury duty kept

12:05 pm on 12 July 2011

A Parliamentary select committee has decided older people should have the option of never having to sit on a jury.

The Law and Order Committee on Tuesday issued its report on the Juries (Jury Service and Protection of Particulars of Jury List Information) Amendment Bill, which gives more protection to jury members.

It would mean the addresses of potential jurors would be removed from jury panel lists, preventing defendants from ever having access to the information.

The bill would also allow people aged 65 and over to ask to be permanently excused from jury service.

Labour MPs on the committee were concerned the move was at odds with efforts to eliminate ageism and stereotypes and to promote participation in the jury system.

But the committee as a whole decided it did not imply that older people were less capable of serving on a jury.