2008 Grand Court dates

Dates have been gazetted for the four sessions of Grand Court in 2008. The court will convene on 9 January, 2 April, 2 July and 1 October.

Previously new sessions were convened every two months.

The change to quarterly sessions means people will be summonsed for jury duty four times per year instead of six times.

Attorney General Samuel Bulgin introduced the amendment to the Grand Court Law last month and the Legislative Assembly passed it unanimously.

One reason for the change was that the law as worded did not permit the flexibility of sitting that a modern court requires.

Quarterly sessions are an established practice in other jurisdictions, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie said this week.

As to the impact on jury duty, he noted that, although the law allows for up to 124 persons to be summonsed for jury service each session, the courts have not routinely summonsed that number. There were cases that required a large pool of jurors, such as money laundering cases or cases involving many defendants charged on the same indictment.

‘Now we will routinely serve a greater number of people to ensure greater rotation and make it less likely any juror will have to serve on an undue number of cases,’ the Chief Justice said.

The opening dates all fall on a Wednesday, as they did in the past.