Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Jury Service (Deaf and Blind Persons)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd January 1964.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West 12:00 am, 23rd January 1964

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that a blind deaf person, who is officially registered as such, is nevertheless liable to jury service and can only be excused when called for jury service, on production of a medical certificate; and if he will introduce early legislation to give all such registered persons complete exemption from jury service

Photo of Miss Mervyn Pike Miss Mervyn Pike , Melton

The question whether physically disabled persons should be exempt from jury service is among those being considered by the Departmental Committee under the chairmanship of Lord Morris of Borth-y-Gest.

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West

I note what the hon. Lady has said, and I appreciate that the problems are being considered, but is not the present position ridiculous, and are not similar situations which have arisen ridiculous? Can she not advise the officers concerned that when they are satisfied that a person is registered as blind and deaf, or that some responsible society has accepted that person as being blind and deaf, or blindor deaf, such person should not be put to further trouble or expense at any future time? If she cannot do that under the Acts, is she not prepared to bring in legislation forthwith to deal with the ridiculous position at least and not wait for the report of the Committee? The complaint is so perfectly obvious.

Photo of Miss Mervyn Pike Miss Mervyn Pike , Melton

It is because the present law needs overhauling that my right hon. Friend has set up the Departmental Committee. I think that we should see what the Committee reports, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that it is making good progress and will be able to report before the end of the year.

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall seek an early opportunity to raise this question on the Adjournment.