Law Reform Commission of Western Australia
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Publications

Project 99 - Selection, eligibility and exemption of jurors

Project No. 99

Commenced: 2007
Completed: 2010

In September the Commission received a reference to examine and report upon the operation and effectiveness of the system of jury selection.

In carrying out this review, the Commission is being asked to give consideration to the number of people who apply for and are granted exemptions from jury service, or who are disqualified or ineligible to participate on a jury. The concern being that with more people exempt or excused from jury service, juries become less representative of the community. In addition to this those who remain eligible for jury service then carry a greater burden to fulfil this important civic duty.

A Discussion Paper was published in September 2009.
Closing date for submissions is 14 December 2009.

Terms of Reference

The Law Reform Commission of Western Australia is to examine and report upon the operation and effectiveness of the system of jury selection giving consideration to:

  1. whether the current statutory criteria governing persons who are not eligible, not qualified or who are excused from jury service remain appropriate;
  2. the compilation of jury lists under Part IV of the Juries Act 1957 (WA);
  3. recent developments regarding the selection of jurors in other jurisdictions; and
  4. any related matter. 

And to report on the adequacy thereof and on any desirable changes to the existing law, practices and procedures in relation thereto.

Outcomes

The Juries Legislation Amendment Act 2011 came into force in May 2011. The Act amended the Juries Act 1957 (WA) and implemented a substantial majority of the Commission’s recommendations from its Final Report which was completed in April 2010 and tabled in November 2010. The amendments bring about the most substantial changes to the Western Australian jury system in recent history. The amendments picked up many of the Commission’s recommendations for making juries more representative of the community and broadening the pool of potential jurors participating in jury service by reducing the categories of occupational ineligibility, tightening the grounds for excuse for cause and introducing a system of deferral of jury service.

Last updated: 31-Jan-2017

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