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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149695 Find in a Library
Title: Multiculturalism, Representation and the Jury Selection Process in Canadian Criminal Cases: Working Document
Author(s): D Pomerant
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 95
Sponsoring Agency: Canada Dept of Justice
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8, Canada
Publication Number: WD1994-7e
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This study assesses the adequacy of the current jury- selection process in Canada in view of the Nation's diverse, multicultural nature.
Abstract: Five aspects of the jury selection and assembly process are addressed and assessed. They are the criteria for determining whether juries adequately represent their communities and other societal interests, provincial procedures that relate to the selection and assembly of juries, the grounds for qualification or disqualification of prospective jurors, Federal procedures that relate to the jury selection process, and the requirement that jury verdicts be unanimous. The analysis found that no clear criteria exist for determining representativeness in Canada's current jury selection process. It argues that rather than requiring actual trial juries to be representative of the community, it would be more appropriate that the process require representativeness of the out-of-court source lists and jury panels from which actual jurors are selected in the in-court process. Clear criteria for representativeness that include representation for racial, ethnic, and cultural minorities should be implemented across the country, but these criteria should also maintain a degree of flexibility to allow representation of particular communities as these vary across the country. Since the laws and practices of most of the Provinces are deficient in promoting representativeness in the jury selection process, it would be appropriate to implement and maintain a national system for producing source lists and jury arrays. The report provides recommendations for qualification and disqualification, Federal procedures, and the unanimous-verdict requirement. In the latter case, the report concludes that there is little convincing evidence that allowing majority verdicts would significantly affect the efficiency of the process. Table of cases and a 43-item bibliography
Main Term(s): Foreign courts
Index Term(s): Juror characteristics; Jury selection; Minorities
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