New facilities for jurors at the Downing Centre Courthouse in Sydney's CBD were officially opened by Attorney General Gabrielle Upton on 7 September. The new facilities costing $1.5 million include a kitchenette, computer stations and a quiet space. When not required in the court, jurors now have a comfortable and functional jury room.
The new facilities reflect the importance of the contribution made by jurors to the justice system.
"Jurors perform an important civic duty and the NSW Government wants to make sure they're comfortable and well looked after," said the Attorney General, Gabrielle Upton.
The Downing Centre is the state's busiest court. The new facilities are a final part of a new jury management system using technology to speed up and simplify jury service. It now takes 30 minutes to check-in up to 300 potential jurors compared to more than 3 hours under the old manual system.
The check-in process includes verifying identity and eligibility to serve as well as printing a juror card. The majority of people checked in will not be empanelled on a jury.
Importantly, the new facilities at the Downing Centre include access to computer stations where potential jurors can find information and manage their own details.
The new website, www.juror.nsw.gov.au provides a secure online profile to anyone included on a jury roll in NSW. More than 175,000 people have logged into their profile to update contact details, provide bank account information for direct payment, or to apply to be excused. Jurors can now opt to be contacted by email or SMS with court date reminders and can call a self-service phone line on 1300 780 199.
Image from left: Catherine D'Elia, Nicola Church, Gabrielle Upton and Tracey Hall.