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  • More Jamaicans are expected to be drafted into the jury pool, once the Jury system is reformed.
  • Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, said Cabinet has approved the reform of the Jury system.
  • The reform should see employees summoned for jury duty being protected from the loss of their employment.

More Jamaicans are expected to be drafted into the jury pool, once the Jury system is reformed.

Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, said Cabinet has approved the reform of the Jury system.

“Drafting instructions have been issued to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel for the preparation of the required legislation,” Minister Falconer told today’s (May 28) Jamaica House Media Briefing, held at the Office of the Prime Minister.

The reform should see employees summoned for jury duty being protected from the loss of their employment; the jury lists are to be derived from the Voters and Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) lists; and there should be a reduction of persons exempt from jury duty. This will broaden the number of persons eligible to serve as jurors.

Other proposed reforms announced by the Minister, are for the jury stipend to be increased; the penalty for refusing to do jury duty to be increased; and the hours for which jury summons can be served to be extended.

Currently, a person must be between age 18 and 70 years to serve as a juror and your name must be on the current Voter’s List. A fine of $2,000 is imposed on a person who has been duly summoned for jury duty and who does not appear, or who appears but refuses to serve, or who withdraws from jury duty without the permission of the court, or without good cause.

Those exempted from serving include anyone who is suffering from an illness; if serving causes undue hardship or financial loss due to attending court; certain persons because of their involvement in public life, such as politicians, some public officials and diplomats; by virtue of their participation in the justice system, such as judges and lawyers; and medical doctors, nurses, soldiers, teachers and pilots, because they render essential services.