Thursday, May 10, 2012
Councillors better show for jury duty: Attorney general
Elaine Flis, a spokesman for Attorney General John Gerretsen, said the province is always reviewing this issue.
“But we have no plans to amend the Juries Act to exempt city councillors from jury duty,” she said Thursday. “However, if a city councillor or any other potential juror is concerned that serving on a jury will cause undue hardship, there are avenues available to such individuals to make applications for individual exemptions.”
Toronto councillors voted 23 to 11 Wednesday to ask the province to exclude them while they are in office from the citizen’s chore.
Councillor Adam Vaughan said that municipal politicians are part of the legal process and should be ineligible to serve as jurors.
“I think strike 44 people from that list while they are in office is a small gesture, a recognition of the work we do here,” Vaughan said.
Federal and provincial politicians and members of the senate are given a pass on jury duty as are a number of other professions.
Lawyers and law students, doctors and vets, judges and justices of the peace are all excluded from jury duty.
The no-jury duty list also extends to police officers, firefighters, jail guards, wardens and sheriffs.
Regular folks who want to skip jury duty — for reasons such as work, business, schooling or personal circumstances — must make a case for a break.