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Coroners (Jury Selection)

Volume 984: debated on Thursday 15 May 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will introduce legislation to oblige coroners to select juries at random;(2) if he is satisfied with present procedures for the selection of coroners' juries; and if he will make a statement.

Coroners were advised by circular in 1974 that their juries should be representative of the local community as a whole and balanced in respect of age and sex. We are not convinced that further legislative steps are necessary.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with the operation of the statutory requirement that a person cannot be summoned to sit on a coroner's jury more than three times a year; and if he will make a statement.

In general, yes. The provision was intended to prevent the use of a " standing jury ". I am aware of recent reports of one area where a standing jury is said to be used and I am consulting my noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor about them.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were summoned to serve on coroners' juries in each of the last 10 years in England and Wales; and how many of these were women.

This information is not available centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate expense.