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Tynwald members approve jury changes

Recommendations receive circumspect welcome

Wide-ranging changes to the Island's jury system have received a cautious welcome.

Tynwald has approved a raft of recommendations from a parliamentary committee formed to examine its operation.

Proposals given the green light this afternoon (Tuesday) will see the maximum age of a juror raised to 75; allow jurors to receive counselling in difficult and emotionally draining cases; and for judge-only trials to be held when it's practicable to empanel a jury.

Members also backed a call to modernise the recruitment of jurors so all bar politicians and those involved in the administration of justice are eligible for jury service.

Establishing a centralised Citizen Database of potential jurors will not be considered though after it was narrowly opposed in the Legislative Council - it will come back to Tynwald for a combined vote next month.

A bid to abolish the payment of expenses and use the money to compensate jurors who are not paid by their employers was rejected, saying it would place too much burden on employers.

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