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Ó Snodaigh welcomes removal of age restriction on jury participation

1 July, 2008 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Other discriminatory barriers now need to be tackled

Sinn Féin Justice and Equality Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has welcomed an amendment to the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2006 which removes the age limit for participations on a jury. However, speaking in the Dáil today, Deputy Ó Snodaigh there is a need to remove other discriminatory barriers also.

He said, "Earlier this year Sinn Féin published a Bill which seeks to remove the age restriction for participation on a jury so I welcome the amendments today which do just that and I am happy to see them included.

"However, there is also a need, as argued by the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) to remove a range of discriminatory barriers to participation on juries. These include the obstacles to participation on juries of persons with disabilities including deaf and blind people.

"Sinn Féin advocated the introduction of legislation which places a statutory onus on the state to take measures towards actively accommodating the participation of persons with disabilities on juries. The Americans with Disabilities Act in the US removed the restrictions on deaf and blind people serving on juries. Now all US courts allow deaf and blind people to serve on juries. We should be following suit here." ENDS

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