Juries Act, 1976

JurisdictionIreland
CitationIR No. 4/1976
Year1976


Number 4 of 1976


JURIES ACT, 1976


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

Preliminary

Section

1.

Short title.

2.

Interpretation.

3.

Expenses.

4.

Repeals.

PART II

Qualification and Liability for Service as a Juror

5.

Jury districts.

6.

Qualification and liability for jury service.

7.

Ineligibility.

8.

Disqualification.

9.

Excusal from service.

PART III

Selection and Service of Jurors

10.

Supply of electoral registers.

11.

Empanelling of jurors.

12.

Summoning of jurors.

13.

Service of jury summons.

14.

Summoning of jurors to make up deficiency.

15.

Selection of jury from panel.

16.

Inspection of jury panel.

17.

Mode of swearing a jury.

18.

Administration of oath to jurors.

19.

Forms of oaths to be taken by jurors.

20.

Challenges without cause shown.

21.

Challenges for cause shown.

22.

View by jury.

23.

Death or discharge of juror during trial.

24.

Discontinuance of juror's service.

25.

Separation of jurors during trial.

26.

Non-effect of appeals as to electoral register on jury service.

PART IV

General

27.

Administrative instructions.

28.

Person standing mute.

29.

Jury service by employees and apprentices.

30.

Commission de lunatico inquirendo.

31.

Liability to serve on coroner's jury.

32.

Non-application of provisions to coroners' inquests.

33.

Restriction of functions of sheriff.

PART V

Offences

34.

Failure of juror to attend court etc.

35.

False statements by or on behalf of juror.

36.

Service by ineligible or disqualified person.

37.

Refusal to be sworn as a juror.

FIRST SCHEDULE

Persons Ineligibile and Persons Excusable as of Right

PART I

Persons Ineligible

PART II

Persons Excusable as of Right

SECOND SCHEDULE

Repeals

Acts Referred to

Children Act, 1908

1908, c. 67

Court Officers Act, 1945

1945, No. 25

Electoral Act, 1963

1963, No. 19

Interpretation Act, 1937

1937, No. 38

Oaths Act, 1888

1888, c. 46


Number 4 of 1976


JURIES ACT, 1976


AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW RELATING TO JURIES [2nd March, 1976]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

PART I

Preliminary

Short title.

1.—This Act may be cited as the Juries Act, 1976.

Interpretation.

2.—(1) In this Act—

“county” means an administrative county;

“jury summons” means a summons under section 12;

“the Minister” means the Minister for Justice.

(2) References in this Act to any enactment shall be construed as references to that enactment as amended or extended by any subsequent enactment, including this Act.

(3) (a) A reference in this Act to a section or Schedule as a reference to a section of, or a Schedule to, this Act, unless it is indicated that reference to some other enactment is intended.

(b) A reference in this Act to a subsection is a reference to the subsection of the section in which the reference occurs unless it is indicated that reference to some other provision is intended.

Expenses.

3.—The expenses incurred by the Minister in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

Repeals.

4.—Each enactment mentioned in the Second Schedule is hereby repealed to the extent specified in column (3) of that Schedule.

PART II

Qualification and Liability for Service as a Juror

Jury districts.

5.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, each county shall be a jury district and for this purpose the county boroughs of Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Waterford shall be deemed to form part of the counties of Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Waterford respectively.

(2) The Minister may by order divide a county into two or more jury districts or limit a jury district to a part or parts of a county.

(3) The Minister may by order revoke or vary an order under this section.

(4) Every issue that is triable with a jury shall be triable with a jury called from a panel of jurors drawn from the jury district in which the court is sitting.

Qualification and liability for jury service.

6.—Subject to the provisions of this Act, every citizen aged eighteen years or upwards and under the age of seventy years who is entered in a register of Dáil electors in a jury district shall be qualified and liable to serve as a juror for the trial of all or any issues which are for the time being triable with a jury drawn from that jury district, unless he is for the time being ineligible or disqualified for jury service.

Ineligibility.

7.—The persons specified in Part I of the First Schedule shall be ineligible for jury service.

Disqualification.

8.—A person shall be disqualified for jury service if on conviction of an offence in any part of Ireland—

(a) he has at any time been sentenced to imprisonment or penal servitude for life or for a term of five years or more or to detention under section 103 of the Children Act, 1908, or under the corresponding law of Northern Ireland, or

(b) he has at any time in the last ten years—

(i) served any part of a sentence of imprisonment or penal servitude, being, in the case of imprisonment, a sentence for a term of at least three months, or

(ii) served any part of a sentence of detention in Saint Patrick's Institution or in a corresponding institution in Northern Ireland, being a sentence for a term of at least three months.

Excusal from service.

9.—(1) A county registrar shall excuse any person whom he has summoned as a juror under this Act if—

(a) that person is one of the persons specified in Part II of the First Schedule and informs the county registrar of his wish to be excused, or

(b) that person shows to the satisfaction of the county registrar that he has served on a jury, or duly attended to serve on a jury, in the three years ending with the service of the summons on him, or

(c) that person shows to the satisfaction of the county registrar that, at the conclusion of a trial, a judge of any court has excused him from jury service for a period that has not terminated.

(2) A county registrar may excuse any person whom he has summoned as a juror from attendance during the whole or any part of the sittings in question if that person shows to the registrar's satisfaction that there is good reason why he should be so excused.

(3) If a person summoned as a juror under this Act is unable, owing to illness or any other reason, to make any representation to a county registrar under subsection (1) or (2), another person may make the representation on his behalf.

(4) A person whom the county registrar has refused to excuse may appeal against the refusal to the court at which he has been summoned to attend.

(5) The procedure for the appeal, including the designation of the judge to hear the appeal, and the time within which and the manner in which it should be brought, shall be as provided by directions of the President of the High Court and the President of the Circuit Court respectively.

(6) The decision of the court shall be final.

(7) When a person is required to be in attendance as a juror at a court during a sitting, the judge shall have the same duty or discretion, as the case may be, as that imposed or conferred on the county registrar under this section to excuse that person from attendance or further attendance. The judge may also, for good reason, excuse the juror during the course of a trial from further service as a juror in the trial.

(8) The judge of any court may, at the conclusion of a trial of an exceptionally exacting nature, excuse the members of the jury from jury service for such period as the judge may think fit.

PART III

Selection and Service of Jurors

Supply of electoral registers.

10.—For the purpose of enabling county registrars to empanel and summon jurors, every county council and corporation of a county borough, as registration authority under section 7 (1) of the Electoral Act, 1963 , shall as soon as practicable after the passing of this Act deliver to the county registrar for the county such number of copies of the then current register of Dáil electors for the county or county borough as the county registrar may require and shall do likewise as soon as practicable after the publication of every similar register thereafter.

Empanelling of jurors.

11.—Each county registrar, using a procedure of random or other non-discriminatory selection, shall draw up a panel of jurors for each court from the register or registers delivered to him under section 10 (omitting persons whom he knows or believes not to be qualified as jurors).

Summoning of jurors.

12.—(1) Each county registrar shall cause a written summons, in such form as the Minister may by regulations prescribe, to be served on every person whom he has selected as a juror requiring him to attend as a juror at the court in question on the day and at the time specified in the summons and thereafter at the times directed by the court.

(2) A jury summons served on a person under this section shall be accompanied by a notice informing him—

(a) of the effect of sections 6, 7, 8, 9 (1), 35 and 36, and

(b) that he may make representations to the county registrar with a view to obtaining a withdrawal of the summons, if for any reason he is not qualified for jury service or wishes or is entitled to be excused.

Service of jury summons.

13.—(1) A jury summons may be sent by post or delivered by hand.

(2) For the purposes of section 18 of the Interpretation Act, 1937 , a...

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