Jury Act 1995 – 1 September 2012
Jury Act 1995 – 1 September 2012
Jury Regulation 2007 – 1 July 2016
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A person is qualified to serve as a juror at a trial within a jury district if: (a) the person is enrolled as an elector; and (b) the person’s address as shown on the electoral roll is within the jury district; and (c) the person is eligible for jury service. A person is eligible for jury service unless they fall within subsection 4(3) of the Act. Ineligible persons include: a member of Parliament, a local government mayor or councillor, a lawyer actually engaged in legal work, a person who is or has been a police officer, a detention centre employee, a corrective services officer, a person who is 70 years or more, a person who has been convicted of an indictable offence, a person who has been sentenced to imprisonment, etc. Note: A person who is 70 years or more may elect to be eligible for jury service in the way prescribed under regulation 4 of the Jury Regulation 2007.
- Section 4; Regulation 4
The sheriff of Queensland must keep a jury roll for each jury district. The sheriff must also prepare lists of prospective jurors for each jury district. The names of persons to be included in the list of prospective jurors are to be drawn from the jury roll for the relevant jury district. The selection is by a computer programmed to make a random selection of names from the jury roll; or by random selection of cards bearing the names of, or numbers representing, the persons whose names are on the jury roll.
- Sections 9, 10, 15, 16, 24, 25; Regulation 5, Schedule 1
The sheriff must give each prospective juror a written notice stating the person may be summoned for jury service; and the jury service period for which the person may be summoned. The notice must include or be accompanied by a questionnaire to find out whether the person is qualified to serve as a juror; and a form to enable the person to apply to be excused from jury service. Note: On an application to be excused from jury service, the sheriff may excuse the applicant from jury service: for a particular jury service period (or part of a particular jury service period); or permanently. It is important to note that a person who is qualified for jury service is liable to perform jury service unless the person is excused from jury service by a judge or the sheriff.
- Sections 5, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
The sheriff must from time to time (as the sheriff considers necessary) select for summons enough prospective jurors to enable the selection of juries for trials starting in the relevant jury district in the jury service period concerned. The persons to be summoned must be selected by a computer programmed to make a random selection of names from the revised list of prospective jurors; or by random selection of cards bearing the names of, or numbers representing, the persons whose names are on the revised list of prospective jurors.
- Section 26
The sheriff must give to each person selected for summoning a summons requiring the person: to attend for jury service as instructed by the sheriff at places and times to be stated in the instructions; and if selected as a member of a jury, to attend as instructed by the court until discharged by the court.
- Sections 27, 28, 63, 64; Regulations 8, 9, 10, Schedule 2
If asked by a party to a civil or criminal trial that is to take place in the jury district in the jury service period, or a lawyer or other person representing a party, the sheriff must: give the party, lawyer or other person a copy of the list of persons summoned for jury service; and identify or provide a means of identifying each person who has been instructed by the sheriff to attend on the day the jury for the relevant trial is to be selected. Note: The request may be made no earlier than 4.00pm on the business day immediately before the day on which the jury for the trial is to be selected.
- Sections 29, 30
A person must not ask questions of a person who has been summoned for jury service to find out how the person is likely to react to issues arising in a trial or for other purposes related to the selection or possible selection of the person as a juror in a trial unless: (a) the questioning is authorised or required under another provision of this Act; or (b) a judge authorises the questioning.
- Section 31
The jury for a civil trial consists of 4 persons.
- Sections 32, 57
The jury for a criminal trial consists of 12 persons.
- Sections 33, 57
The judge before which a civil or criminal trial is to be held may direct that not more than 3 persons be chosen and sworn as reserve jurors. Note: When a jury retires to consider its verdict, a reserve juror who has not been called on to take a place on the jury must be discharged from further attendance at the trial.
- Section 34
If a party to a criminal trial obtains information about a person who has been summoned for jury service that may show the person is unsuitable to serve as a juror in the trial, the party must disclose the information to the other party as soon as practicable.
- Section 35
When a civil or criminal trial is about to begin, the sheriff must arrange for the attendance of a jury panel before the court.
- Sections 36, 37, 38
Before the selection of a jury for a criminal trial begins, the court must inform the defendant that: the persons whose names are to be called may be sworn as jurors for the defendant’s trial; and if the defendant wants to challenge any of them, the defendant, or the defendant’s lawyer or other representative, must make the challenge before the person is sworn as a juror.
- Section 39
A party to a civil or criminal trial who objects to the entire jury panel may challenge the entire jury panel by informing the judge of the reasons for the objection before any juror is sworn for the trial.
- Section 40
When a jury is to be selected for a civil or criminal trial: a selection must be made as directed by the judge from among the members of the jury panel by random selection of cards bearing the names of, or numbers representing, the members of the jury panel; and as each person is selected an officer of the court must call aloud the name of the person selected.
- Section 41
In a civil trial, each party is entitled to 2 peremptory challenges (in relation to jury selection). In relation to a criminal trial, the prosecution and defence are each entitled to 8 peremptory challenges (in relation to jury selection). Jury selection may, in addition, be challenged on the one or both of the following grounds: (a) the person is not qualified for jury service; (b) the person is not impartial. Note: A party who makes such a challenge must inform the judge of the reasons for the challenge and give the judge information and materials available to the party that are relevant to the challenge. If the judge is satisfied there are proper grounds to inquire into the qualification or impartiality of the person against whom the challenge is made, the judge may: (a) permit the party to put questions to the person in a way and in a form decided by the judge; and (b) if the person’s answers to the questions give grounds for further inquiry: permit the examination or cross-examination of the person on oath.
- Sections 42, 43, 44, 49
When the judge reaches the final stage of the jury selection process, the judge may discharge a person who has been selected as a juror or a reserve juror if the judge considers there is reason to doubt the impartiality of the person. For the definition of ‘final stage of jury selection process’, refer to section 45 of the Act.
- Sections 45, 46, 47, 48
Members of the jury must be sworn to give a true verdict, according to the evidence, on the issues to be tried, and not to disclose anything about the jury’s deliberations except as allowed or required by law.
- Section 50
When the jury for a criminal trial has been sworn, the judge must ensure the jury is informed in appropriate detail, of the charge contained in the indictment; and of the jury’s duty on the trial.
- Section 51
In a civil trial, it is the jury’s duty to answer any question of fact that is left to the jury by the presiding judge; and it is the presiding judge’s duty to instruct the jury about the law applicable to the proceeding, with the observations on the evidence the judge considers appropriate to make.
- Section 51A
If, on a trial, the judge considers it desirable for the jury to have a view of a particular place or object, the judge may give the necessary directions. Note: The view must be held in the presence of the judge, and the parties and their lawyers or other representatives are entitled to be present.
- Section 52
After the jury in a criminal trial has been sworn, the jury must not separate until it has given its verdict or has been discharged by the judge. Further, a person who has been sworn as a juror in a criminal trial must not inquire about the defendant in the trial until the jury of which the person is a member has given its verdict, or the person has been discharged by the judge.
- Sections 53, 55, 69A
While a jury is kept together, a person (other than a member of the jury or a reserve juror) must not communicate with any of the jurors without the judge’s leave.
- Section 54
If after deliberating for 6 hours, a jury in a civil trial has not reached a verdict, the judge may discharge the jury. Note: If the jury has not reached a unanimous verdict after 6 hours deliberation, the court may, if the parties agree, take the verdict of 3 of the jurors as the verdict of the jury.
- Sections 6, 58, 62
For criminal trials, the verdict of a jury may be required to be unanimous. For when a unanimous verdict is required, consult subsection 59(1) of the Act. In other criminal trials, a majority verdict may be accepted as the verdict of the jury. For the definition of ‘majority verdict’, consult subsection 59A(6) of the Act.
- Sections 6, 59, 59A, 60, 62
If the court before which a civil trial is to be conducted requires a jury, the plaintiff must pay to the registrar of the court: (a) the fee prescribed under a regulation before the trial begins; and (b) the further fees required under a regulation as and when payment is required under the regulation.
- Section 65; Regulation 11
A court may order a civil trial without a jury if the trial requires a prolonged examination of records; or involves any technical, scientific or other issue that cannot be conveniently considered and resolved by a jury.
- Section 65A
A person must not terminate the employment of anyone, or prejudice anyone in employment, because the other person is, was, or will be, absent from employment on jury service.
- Section 69
Reason for law
Highlighted practice direction
Subsection 27(4) may be rethought. An instruction to attend for jury service by notice in a newspaper circulating generally in the jury district may not be effective.
Sections 42, 43, 44 and 47 contain the term ‘peremptory’. This term may not be understood by members of the public.
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