New Zealand Law Society - High number of potential jurors being excused

High number of potential jurors being excused

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The Justice Minister has revealed that over a quarter of people summoned for jury service were able to have their service excused.

In response to a written question from National’s Justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell, the Minister Andrew Little replied that 12,894 individuals had been summoned for jury service in February 2020 alone.

In replying to another question from Mr Mitchell, Mr Little said 3,813 people had applied to be excused from their duties, also in February 2020.

And in response to a similar question from the MP, Mr Little said 3,471 had been granted approval to be excused from attending that month. That equates to 27% of those summoned.

The numbers are similar for October and November 2019 and March 2020 but fall in December and January due to the summer break.

In an article in LawTalk 931 Chris Macklin looked at why people are reluctant to carry out their duties and what can be done to improve jury trials.

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