Juror privacy to be tightened

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 My Tags

1 Comment & Question

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

How about fixing what you pay them daily to turn up as well... !!! Its a joke currently and says a lot about how much politicians really care about their people (until vote year) Shane Jones has probably spent more of my taxes on porn!!

Reply
Share

Post New comment or question

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7878 -0.0004 -0.05%
AUD 0.9091 0.0005 0.06%
EUR 0.6356 -0.0003 -0.05%
GBP 0.5032 0.0001 0.02%
HKD 6.1123 -0.0013 -0.02%
JPY 92.8410 0.0020 0.00%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1201.1 7.690 2014-11-21T00:
Oil Brent 78.6 -0.120 2014-11-21T00:
Oil Nymex 76.5 0.710 2014-11-21T00:
Silver Index 16.4 0.260 2014-11-21T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5526.9 5526.9 5526.9 -0.56%
NASDAQ 4751.0 4751.6 4701.9 0.24%
DAX 9521.2 9736.1 9484.0 2.62%
DJI 17721.0 17894.8 17719.0 0.51%
FTSE 6678.9 6773.1 6678.9 1.08%
HKSE 23353.7 23508.0 23349.6 0.37%
NI225 17285.7 17381.6 17300.9 0.33%