Participation of People with a Disability in Jury Service

Decision
The jury system is an integral part of the judicial system and is coordinated by the Sheriff's Office in the Perth metropolitan area and the regions.

Jury service is an important part of the judicial system; it serves as a means for members of the community to participate in the administration of justice and to ensure that the application of law is fair and consistent with community standards. In Western Australia (WA), jury service is governed by the Juries Act 1957 (WA) (the Act).

An essential characteristic of juries is that they be representative of the wider community. However, in practice, this is not necessarily the case. Currently, a person with a disability may be excused, exempt or ineligible from participating as a juror in most Australian jurisdictions including WA. This has been an area of concern in recent years with a significant amount of discussion and academic research conducted in relation to this matter.

This Discussion Paper has been prepared to provide stakeholders with an overview of the relevant legislation in WA and other Australian jurisdictions. Questions have been posed in this Discussion Paper to elicit stakeholder views in order to assist the Department to form a position and make recommendations to the Attorney General as to whether it is appropriate to make any changes to the current legislation. 

Stakeholders, interested persons or organisations are therefore invited to make written submissions in response to the questions raised and any other considerations they believe may be relevant to this Discussion Paper.

The closing date for submissions is Monday, 11 May 2020.

Submissions can be emailed to elisha.lafontaine.wa.gov.au or alternatively hard copies can be addressed to:

Ms Joanne Stampalia
Executive Director
Court and Tribunal Services
Department of Justice
GPO Box F317
PERTH WA 6841

Documents

Participation of People with a Disability in Jury Service
Page reviewed 23 March 2020
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