High Court resumed jury trials on Jan. 29, almost seven months after it halted them in July due to a judge’s ruling that the list from which the court’s registrar selected jurors was unconstitutional.
According to Temulji Hughes, communications officer in the Deputy Governor’s Office, a new list of jurors has been created, but it cannot be made public.
Jury trials ceased after former Director of Public Prosecutions Kim Hollis went to court to challenge the legality of the list formerly used to select jurors.
Under the Jury Act 1914, the High Court Registry is to select eligible jurors from a list that includes non-belonger residents who have lived in the VI for longer than ten years, but jurors had previously been selected from the list of eligible voters, which excludes long-term non-belongers.
It is unclear whether or not the new list includes non-belongers or how it might otherwise rectify the issue identified by the court last year.
The proposed Jury Act 2009 would have repealed and replaced the Jury Act 1914 and would have required jurors to be legally selected from the voting list, but this law never passed and Mr. Hughes said there are “still amendments that need to be made.