Feds agree to look at easing jury secrecy as part of review

At issue is a law that forbids jurors from talking about closed-door deliberations

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould makes an announcement regarding family law on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 22, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick/File)

The federal justice minister says she will look at possible changes to a law forbidding jurors from talking about closed-door deliberations — a secrecy provision that prevents stressed-out former jury members from discussing difficult trials with mental-health professionals.

Jody Wilson-Raybould says she will pursue the matter — and other jury-related issues — with her provincial and territorial counterparts as part of the Liberal government’s ongoing review of the criminal justice system.

Wilson-Raybould makes the commitment in a recent letter to fellow Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, chairman of the House of Commons justice committee.

In May, the committee’s report on improving support for jurors recommended the government amend section 649 of the Criminal Code so that those who serve on juries can discuss deliberations with designated mental-health workers once a trial is over.

In her letter, Wilson-Raybould acknowledges the obstacles the section poses both for jurors and academic researchers who want to talk to people who have served on juries.

She says ensuring that jurors are adequately supported before, during and after their service is an important goal.

READ MORE: Liberals set to overhaul the criminal justice system

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Town endorses cannabis applications

Three applications for provincial non-medical cannabis retail store licences got Town Council… Continue reading

Mobile breast cancer screening coming to Creston

To book a screening mammogram call 1-800-663-9203. A doctor’s referral is not required.

Call a foul on cancer with the Pink Whistle Campaign

Local basketball referees are raising money for cancer research

Free farm succession planning workshop in Creston

The one-day workshop provides an overview of the succession planning process followed by detailed presentations by farm succession experts in accounting, law, insurance, and financing.

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read