Government of Gibraltar
Press Office

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Press Release

No: 258/2003
Date: 11 November 2003

Ruling of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

The Government notes the ruling of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, by a majority of 3 to 2, to declare Gibraltar’s 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 Gibraltar’s highest court is final. The effect of the Privy Council’s 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 non–discrimantory".