Canadian Parliamentary Inquiry recommends Canada adopt jury tool designed by Prof Cheryl Thomas
25 May 2018
Prof Cheryl Thomas' work is improving jurors' understanding of legal responsibilities
A Canadian Parliamentary inquiry into Improving Support for Jurors has recommended that all Canadian provinces and territories adopt a Juror Notice designed by UCL Faculty of Laws Professor Cheryl Thomas and is now used in all jury trials in England and Wales.
The Parliamentary Committee said in its report that it 'was particularly impressed with the jurors’ notice handed out by judges to all selected jurors in England and Wales. The three-page pamphlet provides a simple and clear explanation of jurors’ legal obligations and the potential consequences of not respecting these rules' (p.17).
Professor Thomas gave evidence to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in February 2018. In her evidence she explained that the new Juror Notice for England and Wales was the result of detailed research she has conducted with actual juries at the request of the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. This research identified the most effective means of ensuring that jurors understand their legal responsibilities and are aware of the sources of support available to them during and after any trial. This research resulted in a new Criminal Practice Direction (26G.5) requiring the Juror Notice be used in all criminal jury trials in England and Wales.
Link to Criminal Practice Direction 26G.5: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/criminal/docs/criminal-practice-directions-amendments-july-2017-summary-of-changes.pdf