§ Mr. Conway
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will seek powers to discharge women beyond the age of 60 years and men beyond the age of 65 years from jury service;
(2) if he will seek powers to discharge mothers with children below school age from jury service.
§ Mr. Mellor
Section 9 of the Juries Act 1974 already permits the summoning officer to excuse any person from jury service if there is good reason; or the court itself may do so. We have no plans for further legislation in this direction.
At present persons above the age of 65 are ineligible for jury service. Following representations that this is too restrictive, the White Paper "Criminal Justice: Plans for Legislation" (Cmnd. 9658) invites comment on whether those between 65 and 70 should be eligible, but not obliged, to serve.