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This research explores the representative nature of jury pools in Ireland and examines how the various stages involved in the jury selection process have the potential to compromise the achievement of a representative jury. Specifically this research addresses how the categories of those who failed to respond to their jury summons, those who were deemed ineligible or disqualified, and those who were excused as of right and for good reason shown, impact the achievement of a representative jury. The headings under which representativeness were examined included age, gender, occupation and nationality. The study was conducted using mixed methodologies and involved a sample of 930 potential jurors who comprised two groups randomly selected for jury duty. Research on the representative nature of jury pools in Ireland is limited, and therefore, jury representativeness was the primary focus of this research. Findings revealed that the random sample selected in both jury pools examined was representative under the headings of occupation and gender. They were not representative from an age perspective specifically in relation to the under 30 age categories. Findings could not be established with regard to nationality. Of particular importance, in this research, was the high number of potential jurors who, through the various selection procedures, were removed from the pool of potential jurors from which a panel could be selected prior to their appearing in court. This research study revealed that this number comprised over three quarters of the total cohort of potential jurors summoned for jury duty. What was also notable were the number of potential jurors who failed to respond to their jury summons in any way in addition to those who respond but failed to provide complete information despite being asked for it. The findings from this study will inform future policy generation and will create a platform from which future research can be conducted.
Mulherin, J. (2018). An Exploratory Study of Jury Representativeness in Ireland. Dissertation. Technological University Dublin. doi:10.21427/k6w0-5457