SA jury duty available for people aged over 70

The South Australian Government will move to allow people over 70-years-old to sit on juries in South Australia.

 

Attorney-General John Rau said amendments to existing law will remove the current maximum age of 70 years for jurors, but will allow any person summoned for jury service aged 70-yearsold and over to be automatically excused if they wish.

 

“Currently in South Australia, the Juries Act 1927 provides that those who are enrolled to vote are eligible to serve as a juror with the exception of people over the age of 70, who are ineligible,” Mr Rau said.

 

“Most other Australian jurisdictions refer to an upper age limit at which a person can opt out of jury duty.

 

“New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory and Tasmania all allow persons over a particular age (between 60 and 70-years-old) to opt out of jury duty.

 

“The Bill introduced into Parliament today draws on these interstate models and fairly balances the interests of persons aged 70 years and over.

 

“It provides them with the choice of completing jury service if called, therefore avoiding an undue burden on retirees.”

 

Minister for Ageing Zoe Bettison said it is unfair to exclude a whole class of the community as potential jurors simply based on their age.

 

“We want to encourage as many members of the community as possible to participate,” Ms Bettison said.

 

“I applaud the Council of the Ageing SA’s advocacy and leadership on this issue.

 

“Representation of the community is a fundamental tenet of juror selection and this new model will be a more equitable way of sharing jury duty.

 

“Older people bring a wealth of experience to the task of being a juror and we respect and encourage the contribution that older citizens can offer to society.”

 

The proposed amendment is part of the Statutes Amendment (Attorney-General’s Portfolio) Bill 2015.

 

24 February 2016.