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Jury service dodgers put system at risk

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New Zealand News | Monday January 28 2013 13:25

Jury service dodgers put system at risk

Legal experts are warning New Zealand's justice system may be at risk as thousands dodge jury service.

Ministry of Justice figures out today show, that in the year to October, more than a third of the 15,000 people summonsed for jury service at the Wellington District Court were excused.

Victoria University senior law lecturer Grant Morris says the number of people dodging jury service is very concerning.

He says because so many people are being excused, some groups are being under-represented.

"For example, managers and those in professional occupations are under-represented because they're getting off, and those who perhaps can't get excused, or can't get their employer to write a letter to excuse them are over-represented."

Grant Morris says beneficiaries and students are among those often over represented on juries.

Photo: Ed Swift

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