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Jury committee hears from Deemster

Hearing covers almost every facet of jury system

A Tynwald Select Committee on the running of the jury system has heard from a senior Island judge.

The Committee, led by East Douglas MHK Chris Robertshaw, scored something of a coup in securing an appearance from Deemster Alistair Montgomerie, who gave evidence along with Chief Registrar Stephen Cregeen.

It was an extensive hearing, with almost every facet of the contemporary jury system being scrutinised:

Its rigorous selection and exemption process, how jurors are treated, jury size, the aptitude of a body of peers in diverse and complex cases, the risk of undue influence - all this and more came under the spotlight.

Deemster Montgomerie said the integrity of juries was often 'underestimated', and that 'no cases [came] to mind' in his experience where the system was not fit for purpose.

Both men, however, said they appreciated that looking into the jury system was a worthwhile and important exercise.

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