The Government notes the ruling of the Judicial Committee of the
Privy Council, by a majority of 3 to 2, to declare Gibraltars system for the
composition of juries unconstitutional by reason of the fact that jury service is not
compulsory for women, on the same terms as men.
The Privy Council has also decided that the Ordinance now stands
amended so as to make it constitutional, without need of intervention by the legislature.
This decision by Gibraltars highest court is final. The
effect of the Privy Councils decision is that, as of yesterday, jury service is
compulsory for women.
If re-elected, the Government will amend the Ordinance to
provide for non-discriminatory exemptions from jury service for at least one parent of
young children, and for other
non-discriminatory categories who cannot reasonably be expected
to cope with jury service given their family and other social commitments.
Commenting on the ruling the Chief Minister said:-
"This is a decision with considerable impact on Gibraltar.
Many will welcome it. Others may not. It is important that the next House of Assembly
addresses the legislation, so that there is a workable regime that conforms with this
ruling and thus sexually nondiscrimantory".