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Age of jurors raised to seventy-five

On 20 August 2013, Damian Green, Criminal Justice Minister, announced plans to increase the age that people can sit on juries from 70 to 75.  The change would mean that people up to the age of 75 that are summoned would be expected to serve on a jury.  However, under the Juries Act 1974, they can be excused if they have a good reason for not sitting.  Announcing the plans, Damian Green said:-

"The right to be tried by your peers is, and remains, a cornerstone of the British justice system laid down in the Magna Carta almost 800 years ago.

"Our society is changing and it is vital that the criminal justice system moves with the times. The law as it currently stands does not take into account the increases to life expectancy that have taken place over the past 25 years. This is about harnessing the knowledge and life experiences of a group of people who can offer significant benefits to the court process."

The proposal has been welcomed by organisations representing older people with Paul Green, saga Director of Communications, commenting:

 "Older people have a great deal of life experience and many remain astute, savvy and mentally agile well into later life and will be a valued addition to any jury. This is a common sense reform and should be applauded."

Primary legislation will be required to effect the implementation of the new age limit.  This is expected to be brought in at the early part of next year.


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