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

Victoria residents advocate for funding for neighborhoods without community centres

North Park Neighbourhood Association hopes to see $75,000 to bolster nearby staff

Victoria resident faces discrimination from BC Transit since transitioning to a wheelchair

Daniel Sands says they are often not allowed on buses, even when there is room

Single dad reaches out to Greater Victoria community to help kids celebrate Christmas

A young family was overwhelmed with the warm response from strangers

North Saanich woman arrested after police pursuit, alleged abduction at elementary school

Two police officers were injured and one police vehicle damaged

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Swoop airlines adds three destinations in 2020 – Victoria, Kamloops, San Diego

Low-fair subsidiary of WestJet Airlines brings new destinations in April 2020

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Trudeau sets 2025 deadline to remove B.C. fish farms

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Suspect steals 150 pairs of cosmetic contacts from Nanaimo party supply store

Incident happened at Pattie’s Party Palace on Rutherford Road on Thursday

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

Most Read