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DPP: Gov't must improve the jury system quickly

Published:Saturday | July 6, 2013 | 7:28 AM

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has said the Government must move quickly to fix the jury system as a shortage of persons to serve as jurors is a major contributor to the low case disposal rate in the nation’s courts.



In its 2010-2011 annual report, which was tabled in the House of Representatives last week, the Office of the DPP also recommended that the daily payment to persons serving as jurors be increased.



The office notes that there are instances where the expenses incurred by jurors to attend court exceed the remuneration paid to jurors, who are sometimes not paid after several months, or in some cases, years after serving.



The office also wants a review of the system whereby persons become eligible for this payment with a view to making payment to persons once they have attended for a certain number of days, rather than only the persons who are empanelled as jurors.



The Government owes nearly $8 million to 1,725 jurors.



A $500-per-day stipend is currently paid to jurors.



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