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JUST Committee News Release

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Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
House of Commons / Chambre des communes
Comité permanent de la justice et des droits de la personne

For immediate release


NEWS RELEASE


SUPPORT FOR JURORS: HOUSE OF COMMONS COMMITTEE SEEKS WITNESSES

Ottawa, November 09, 2017

Members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights are turning to Canadians as they embark on a study of jurors’ experiences of stress as a result of jury duty.

As an essential component of our justice system, jury duty gives Canadians the opportunity to contribute to the administration of justice. While this experience can be positive and educational, serving as a juror can be a stressful process.

Sources of stress vary. For example, stress may arise from the disruption of the daily routine of work and family life, financial losses, being confronted with disturbing facts and worrying about making a wrong decision. In some cases, jury duty may have serious negative effects on mental health.

Knowledge of the stress experienced by jurors in Canada is very limited. This is the first time a committee of Parliament will investigate this important question. The objective of the study is to identify the various sources of stress arising at every stage of jury duty – from the selection of prospective jurors to serving on a jury and taking part in deliberations – in order to propose concrete recommendations and ensure that all jurors have access to necessary psychological support services. The Committee also aims to identify, document and share best practices in the field.

Hearings will start on November 20, 2017. Members of the Committee plan to hear as many individuals and groups as possible, including former jurors, people who were called for jury duty but were not selected, members of the legal profession and experts on post-traumatic stress disorder.

Those interested in appearing before the Committee are invited to submit their request as soon as possible to the Committee Clerk:

Julie Geoffrion
Tel: 613-996-1553
E-mail: JUST@parl.gc.ca

The Clerk will contact those selected to appear to provide them with the dates and times of the Committee’s hearings, the time allocated for presentations, and other details. If necessary, informal meetings with former jurors will also be organized.

Witnesses who are invited to appear and are unfamiliar with the hearing process can consult the Guide for Witnesses Appearing Before House of Commons Committees.

In addition, written presentations may be submitted to the Clerk for distribution to Committee members. Those preparing briefs may wish to consult the Guide for Submitting Briefs to House of Commons Committees.

The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights is composed of 12 Members of Parliament. It is chaired by Anthony Housefather, MP for Mount Royal.

For more information on the Committee’s members, meetings and work, please consult the Committee's website.

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For more information, please contact:
Julie Geoffrion, Clerk of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
Tel: 613-996-1553
E-mail: JUST@parl.gc.ca