If a proposed bill passes, non-Caymanians with permanent residence will be eligible to serve as jurors in Cayman’s courts.
Currently, only people on the voters list can serve as jurors.
There are 15,267 people on the voters list, a little less than 28 per cent of the 54,878 people counted in 2010 Census.
Many of those on the voters list are exempted from jury duty by their occupation or age, further reducing the available pool of those eligible to serve as jurors.
A press release issued by the Office of the Attorney General Wednesday, sought public input on the Judicature Amendment Bill 2011, which proposes to expand the jury pool.
In addition to eliminating some of the exemptions, it is proposed to open eligibility to serve as a juror to permanent residents and the holders of Caymanian Status, whether they are naturalised or not.
“This would be in addition to the other measures being proposed, which will enable the age limit to be extended to 70 instead of the current 60 years of age; exempting only attorneys who are actively engaged in litigation; removing the exemption for medical practitioners, registrars of land, births, marriages and death; as well as those exempted by reason of poverty,” the press release stated.
Others exempted who would remain exempted under the new proposal are: the governor; members of the Legislative Assembly; judges, magistrates and justices of the peace; recognised pastors and ministers of religion; officers of courts of competent jurisdiction; constables; and persons who have been convicted before any court of the Islands of an offence for which they were sentenced to a term of imprisonment and who have not received a free pardon in respect of the offence.
Comments on the proposed changes should be forwarded to Tesia Scott in the Attorney General’s Chambers, 4th Floor, Government Administration Building or by email to: [email protected] by Friday, 6 May, 2011.