Successful step towards resumption of jury trials

The first post-Covid-19 jury trial in the country began without a hitch yesterday.

Trials across the rest of the nation will start next month but the Dunedin District Court hosted a successful dry run in the lead-up.

The Ministry of Justice was interested to see whether there would be issues around how potential jurors would respond to a summons.

However, there were dozens in attendance yesterday and a jury of 12 was found without a hiccup.

Hand sanitiser and face masks were provided for those nervous about being in close proximity to so many strangers but none of the jury pool opted to wear a mask.

Judge Michael Crosbie acknowledged the novelty of the situation and asked the jurors to ensure they were "fully fit" before agreeing to sit for the trial.

If someone developed an illness during the three-day case, that person might have to be stood aside, he said.

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