Factors affecting juror satisfaction and confidence in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia

Kate O'Brien, Jane Goodman-Delahunty, Jonathan Clough, Jessica Pratley

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Abstract

Drawing on data gathered as part of a study commissioned by the Criminology Research Council, this study examined facets of the quality and scope of the jury experience in three jurisdictions. The aims of this project were to investigate: the impact on overall satisfaction with the jury experience of the degree of jury participation (empanelment vs non-empanelment), the comfort of the physical facilities and the amount of remuneration for jury service; the influence of overall satisfaction with the jury experience on confidence in the criminal justice system; and commonalities and differences between three states with different legislative and administrative jury systems: New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Jurors were surveyed in District/County and Supreme Courts in metropolitan and regional areas in the three target states between March and May 2007. Exit surveys were administered to 628 empanelled jurors and 1,048 non-empanelled jurors. Overall, empanelled jurors reported higher levels of satisfaction with the experience of jury service than non-empanelled jurors, while jurors in Victoria were significantly more satisfied with the comfort of the physical faculties than jurors in New South Wales or South Australia. A substantial majority of participants regarded juror remuneration as inadequate. Although increased involvement in the jury process enhanced perceptions of the criminal justice system, satisfaction with the jury experience significantly predicted overall confidence in the criminal justice system. These results suggest that satisfaction with the jury experience, and therefore confidence in the criminal justice system, may be increased by facilitating increased participation in jury service, improving jury facilities and increasing juror remuneration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalTrends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice
VolumeApr2008
Issue number354
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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