Tuesday, 10 January 2023 15:39

Do more for jurors Minister Chuck, urges Scott-Mottley

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Opposition Spokesperson on Information and Justice Senator Donna Scott-Mottley is calling on the Minister of Justice, the Honourable Delroy Chuck, to increase the stipend paid to jurors who attend court on jury duty.

Joining the recent calls from the Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn and other senior members of the judiciary, the Opposition Spokesperson said that the jury system is now in deep crisis. The stipend for jurors, which is currently $2000 per day, was last increased in 2015 when Mark Golding was Minister of Justice and has significantly eroded due to inflation. Prior to that, the stipend was $500 per day and had not been adjusted since 1998.

“Coupled with the growing disinterest of citizens in civic activities, the low stipend provided for jurors has put the justice system in a bind. Numerous jury trials, which account for a vast majority of trials in the circuit court across parishes have been delayed due to a lack of jurors”, said Senator Scott-Mottley. She noted that while jury duty is a part of our civic responsibility, it is still a voluntary service which requires jurors to make the sacrifice of travelling long distances or even taking time off from work to attend trials.

Senator Scott-Mottley is therefore calling on the Minister of Justice to act decisively to increase the stipend and not wait on the Court Administration Division to determine whether or not $2000 is sufficient.

Additionally, the Opposition Senator is suggesting that the Minister enlists the assistance of Justices of the Peace in a campaign to encourage citizens to understand the importance of jury duty. She is also encouraging citizens who are able to participate in the process to do so. “The judicial system cannot function without the participation of citizens. Justice depends on you, it depends on all of us”, said Senator Scott-Mottley.

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 10 January 2023 15:44