Jury age limit to be scrapped

The current age limit of 70 years for jury members is set to be scrapped under new proposals.

The Cabinet today approved lifting the restriction which had already been recommended by an internal report compiled by the Courts Services Board.

An amendment will now be inserted into the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2006 which is currently before the Seanad.

Age Action Ireland has lobbied the Government to relax the age limit because it prevents hundreds of thousands of older people from performing jury duty.

Under the 1976 Juries Act, people aged 18 and over and under the age of 70 years are qualified and liable to serve as a juror.

The issue was raised in the Dáil last month by Sinn Féin who published a Private Members Bill on the matter.

Sinn Féin equality spokesman Aengus O Snodaigh said he believed the upper age limit was a form of discrimination against older people.

“The change in the law makes perfect sense because people are living longer lives now.

“It is difficult to get people to serve on juries and a lot of people over the age of 70 may have more free time on their hands,” he said.

A number of the TD’s constituents had approached him about the issue, he explained.

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