The Verdict is in: new jury system is a winner

Issued: Thursday, 21 August 2014
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People called for jury service in NSW are reaping the benefits of a new $4.2 million online jury management system bringing the jury process into the 21st Century.

“The new service replaces a 20 year old system that was cumbersome, paper-bound, laborious and error-prone,” Attorney General Brad Hazzard said.

“It has been designed to speed up the jury processing times at courts by providing airport style electronic check-ins, on-the-spot excusals and eliminating the need for jurors to carry paper summons.

“Jurors now have their own personal online profile where they can update their contact and banking details, apply to be excused or opt in for text and email notifications including court attendance reminders
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“We’re making it easier for people to plan ahead so that if you have booked a holiday or have medical treatment scheduled, you can nominate two periods of up to two weeks where you cannot sit on a jury.

“The NSW Government is putting dollars where it counts for the 200,000 people involved in the jury process every year who are asked to engage in this important civic duty,” Mr Hazzard said.

The new system has cut jury registration processing times at the state’s busiest court, the Downing Centre, from 3.5 hours down to 30 minutes.

This system creates rolls of randomly selected jurors, issues notices and summonses, manages their selection and empanelment and processes payment for serving jurors.

It also communicates with agencies including Roads & Maritime Service, NSW Police, Birth Deaths and Marriages and the State Electoral Office to check addresses and avoid including ineligible people on jury rolls.

Between 1 January and 15 July this year 127,000 people were sent a notice of inclusion advising they may be summoned at some point during a 12 month period; 81,000 were sent a summons letter; 16,000 attended court as part of the final stage of jury selection; and 2,100 were empanelled, which means they were selected to sit in the jury box.

“The NSW Government is getting on with the job of cutting red tape and time-wasting and delivering a system which is easier and more efficient for everyone,” Mr Hazzard said.