The Western Australian Government is asking for community views on its rule for people serving on juries.
Deafness Forum, on behalf of our community said that state and territory laws – specifically those in WA because there is a review currently underway – should be changed so they don’t discriminate on the basis of disability, age or race; and in any other way that is discriminatory. We said all citizens if they wish can expect to participate in jury service with the help of reasonable assistance.
An estimated 1.2 million Australians rely on captions every day, so a reasonable assistance for jurists would include real-time transcribing of the spoken word.
A hearing loop will help people who have a hearing device to hear and participate in trials.
It is also important that interpreting by qualified individuals is available for people whose first language is Australian Sign Language.
We reminded the WA Government that there is a significantly greater percentage of people in the prison population with hearing disability compared to the general community.
Here’s the advice we gave in a letter to the WA Government on 5 May 2020: Deafness Forum submission – Jury Service letter to Dept of Justice WA May 2020
The important thing is that you have your say if you are interested. But you must give it by Monday 11 May 2020.
Read the participation-of-people-with-disability-discussion-paper and if you want to offer a comment, email it to elisha.lafontaine.wa.gov.au or send a letter to Joanne Stampalia, Executive Director, Court and Tribunal Services Department of Justice, GPO Box F317 PERTH WA 6841.