Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013
Juries in Lengthy Trials
Amendment of Juries Act 1976
23. The Juries Act 1976 is amended—
(a) by inserting the following section after section 15:
15A. (1) Subject to subsection (2), at any time before the selection of a jury in a trial of a criminal issue begins pursuant to section 15, a judge of the Circuit Court or the Central Criminal Court, as the case may be, may, on his or her own motion or on the application of the prosecution or the accused person, order that a specified number of persons not exceeding 15 in number be selected to serve as jurors and sworn in the trial concerned.
(2) A judge shall not make an order referred to in subsection (1) unless the judge is satisfied that—
(a) the duration of a trial is likely to exceed 2 months, and
(b) the selection of additional jurors for the trial is an appropriate means of ensuring that there will be a sufficient number of jurors for the jury to remain properly constituted for the purposes of giving a verdict in that trial.
(3) An application referred to in subsection (1) shall be made—
(a) not later than 10 working days before the selection of a jury in the trial of a criminal issue begins pursuant to section 15, and
(b) on notice—
(i) where the application is made by the prosecution, to each accused person in the trial, or
(ii) where the application is made by an accused person in that trial, to the prosecution and any other accused person in the trial concerned.
(4) Where an order is made pursuant to subsection (1), the number of persons specified in the order shall be selected to serve as jurors pursuant to section 15 and sworn in the trial concerned.
(a) jurors have been sworn in the trial of a criminal issue following the making of an order under subsection (1), and
(b) immediately before the jury in the trial retires to consider its verdict the jury comprises more than 12 jurors,
the judge shall direct that from the jurors then constituting the jury 12 jurors be selected to retire and consider the verdict in the trial.
(6) The selection of jurors to retire and consider the verdict in a trial pursuant to a direction under subsection (5) shall be made by balloting in open court.
(7) Where a ballot is held pursuant to subsection (6)—
(a) a juror who is selected shall retire to consider the verdict in the trial concerned, and
(b) a juror who is not selected shall be discharged by the judge.
(8) A jury which has been selected pursuant to subsection (6) to retire and consider the verdict in a trial shall continue to constitute the jury for the purposes of the trial and that trial shall proceed and a verdict may be found accordingly.”,
(b) in section 20—
(i) in subsection (2), by substituting “Subject to subsection (2A), in every trial of a criminal issue” for “In every trial of a criminal issue”, and
(ii) by inserting the following subsection after subsection (2):
“(2A) In every trial of a criminal issue which is tried with a jury in which jurors have been selected following the making of an order under section 15A, the prosecution and each accused person may challenge without cause shown eight jurors and no more.”.