Legislation that will enhance the privacy, safety and security of jurors was introduced to Parliament today.
Justice Minister Simon Power said the Juries Amendment Bill included a provision to remove the addresses of potential jurors from jury panel lists.
The move comes after convicted murderer George Baker wrote to a juror whose name he saw on a list while he was representing himself in a trial.
Currently, a jury list must contain the name, occupation, date of birth and full address of potential jurors.
Since 2008, self-represented defendants have been prohibited from keeping a copy of the jury list or taking notes, but they can inspect it under supervision.
In addition, where there is a real risk that an accused may intimidate jurors, the prosecutor can apply for a judge-alone trial.
Mr Power said those changes were made to protect the privacy of jurors, but the Baker incident highlighted the need to further restrict access to the information.
"Serving on a jury is an important civic duty and we must do everything we can to make it as safe and easy as possible," he said.
The proposed changes in the bill will:
* remove the addresses of potential jurors from jury lists;
* allow the prosecution, defence lawyer, or the court-appointed adviser to defendants representing themselves to have automatic access to all address information on request;
* prevent the accused from ever seeing potential jurors' addresses by prohibiting the defence lawyer or court-appointed adviser from showing the addresses to the accused;
* extend the section of the Juries Act which makes it clear that misconduct in relation to jury lists may be treated as contempt of court to include the act of showing the accused, or any other person, jurors' addresses; and
* bar people from serving on a jury if they have, in the previous five years, been sentenced to home detention for three months or more. This puts them in the same category as those sentenced to a short term of imprisonment.
This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags
- Parent, widow of Pike River casualties fail to force review of decision to drop charges against Whittall
- iPredict decision the work of 'officious aliens' – Crampton
- Tech expert's complaint about 'snake oil' ad upheld
- High Court hears allegations over redacted report in Trends R&D funding case
- Fonterra says farmer loan support package will cost $390 million
Most listened to
- Tim Hunter on why Veritas is doing it the hard way
- Matthew Hooton on whether Steven Joyce will be the next national leader
- Rodney Hide on why all city planners should be fired
- Nevil Gibson discusses his latest Editor's Insight on films
- The NBR crew throw around some of the week's top stories
- Rob Hosking breaks down the political and economic week that was
- "A tragedy" - David Farrar on his disappointment with Simon Bridges
- New F&P product pipeline exciting, says Macquarie senior investment adviser Brad Gordon
- Taupo Motorsport Park executive director Tony Walker on the park's rebranding
- NZIER senior economist Christina Leung on why she does not think the OCR will hit 2%
- NBR's Cameron Officer talks about the NBR Car of the Year 2015
- John Barnett on Brewer: ‘Boy, has he got a bit to learn’