Mr. Tom Ellis
asked the Attorney-General if he will publish details of the mechanics of jury selection at a suitable administrative office, giving the rank of the person choosing the names and the methods by which that person finds the names of potential jurors.
It is the responsibility of the chief clerk at each centre of the Crown court to summon jurors for the Crown court at that place—except in Greater London where the under sheriff carries out these functions. At the Crown court at Chester, for example, full-time ushers or clerical staff, under the supervision of the chief clerk, undertake the work itself. The electoral registers for the whole of the catchment area for that court are divided into three lists, some part of each parish and ward being included in each of these lists. Summoning then follows a three-year cycle, each list being used in sequence. Individual panels of jurors to be summoned for any particular period are compiled by the random selection from the list then in use of one name from each ward or parish of the catchment area, except where the ward or parish is large, when two names are selected.470W
Mr. Tom Ellis
asked the Attorney-General if he will introduce legislation extending the provision enabling the linguistic capabilities of jurors to be tested under the Juries Act 1974 to cover Welsh as well as English in trials held in Wales when defendants elect to give evidence in Welsh.
No. This would depart too far from the principle that jurors be chosen by random selection from the electoral register. Moreover, the arrangements for the provision of interpreters for cases in which defendants wish to speak Welsh appear to be working satisfactorily.