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Volume 23: debated on Tuesday 4 May 1982

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asked the Attorney-General whether his guidelines for checking potential jurors extend to the compilation of the panel; whether all jury panels in all Crown court cases in 1981–82 were selected at random, and by which method; if not, in which cases random selection of the panel did not operate and for what reasons; and if he will make a statement.

Checks made under my guidelines do not take place until after a jury panel has been drawn up. Jury summoning officers are required to select persons at random for jury service in all cases. When the new electoral registers for 1981 came into use, a method of selection based on a random number formula was put into effect. This method is not yet in use in the Greater London area because of difficulties arising from the very large number of electors and electoral registers in use, but the means of implementing it are under study.