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

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Your Mountain Minute for November 15

Golden’s weekly 60-second news recap… Continue reading

UPDATE: Highway 1 in Golden reopened

UPDATE: The Trans-Canada Highway east of Golden has been reopened. Crews were… Continue reading

Golden council considers cannabis zoning

The Town of Golden is going through the motions and deciding how… Continue reading

Golden’s landfill may not be to blame for water contamination

A resident who lives beside the Golden Landfill has asked the Columbia… Continue reading

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

Most Read