December 02, 2019

Government Introduces Legislation To Modernize Jury Selection

The Government of Saskatchewan has introduced legislation to modernize the jury selection process and encourage increased juror participation.

The Jury Amendment Act, 2019 allows officials responsible for generating lists of jurors to better determine specific geographical areas from which to summon jurors through a targeted draw.  The current exclusion of spouses of reeves, mayors, city councilors and other officials will be also removed to allow for increased juror eligibility and participation.

“These amendments will allow us to take into account travel time for potential jurors while also ensuring that we’re not unnecessarily shrinking the jury pool,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan said.  “By making it easier for potential jurors to attend proceedings, we hope to improve jury participation and representation.”

To ensure consistency with the exclusion of mayors, city councillors, and other elected municipal officials from jury duty, the legislation contains amendments that exclude Chiefs and council members from Indian bands from serving as jurors.

The amendments also provide increased protection for the personal information of jurors and potential jurors.  Personal information of jurors and potential jurors will no longer be part of the public record, but will be available to parties of a proceeding.  It may also be made available under specific terms and conditions imposed by the court.

“Serving as a juror is one of the most honourable and important contributions a person can make to their community,” Morgan said.  “We are committed to supporting jurors and potential jurors, and to making it as easy as possible to take part in such a fundamental aspect of our justice system.”

Further information on jury service and selection in Saskatchewan is available at https://sasklawcourts.ca/index.php/home/court-of-queen-s-bench/jury-information.