Jury selection - statement for unrepresented defendant

1.         Please read this statement.

2.         After you have read it, the jury will be empanelled.  The jury will comprise 12 jurors.

3.         As the jury is empanelled, you and counsel for the prosecution have the right to challenge potential jurors.

4.         There are three grounds on which you can challenge a person who is called to serve on the jury.  If you wish to make a challenge, you must say “CHALLENGE” after the juror’s name has been called but before he or she takes his or her seat in the jury box.  The three grounds are:

(a)        Challenge without cause

For any reason of your own, if you do not wish a particular person to serve in your trial you may challenge that person.  You may make only four challenges of this kind.  You do not have to give reasons for a challenge of this kind.

(b)        Challenge for cause

In addition to the right to challenge without cause, you are entitled to any number of challenges for cause if you think that:

(i)         A juror is not neutral between the parties; or

(ii)        A juror is not capable of acting effectively as a juror in the proceedings because of physical disability.

(c)        Challenge for lack of qualification

In addition to the right of challenge without cause or challenge for cause, you are entitled to any number of challenges if you think that a person is not qualified, or is disqualified from serving on a jury.

Every person who is currently registered as an elector under the Electoral Act 1993 is qualified and liable to serve as a juror for any trial within the jury district in which the person resides.  However, the following persons are disqualified from serving on any jury in any court on any occasion:

(i)         Anyone who, at any time, has been sentenced to imprisonment for life or for a term of three years or more, or to preventive detention;

(ii)        Anyone who, at any time within the preceding five years, has been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of three months or more, or to corrective training.

Also, the following persons may not serve on any jury in any court on any occasion:

(i)                   Members of the Executive Council of New Zealand;

(ii)                 Members of the House of Representatives;

(iii) Judges of the High Court, Associate Judges of the High Court, Judges of the Employment Court; Judges and Commissioners of the Maori Land Court, District Court Judges and Community Magistrates;

(iv)  Visiting Justices under the Penal Institutions Act 1954, and members of the Parole Board;

(v)  Justices who have agreed to make themselves available from time to time to exercise the summary jurisdiction of District Courts;

(vi)  Barristers and solicitors holding current practising certificates under the Law Practitioners Act 1982;

(vii) Members of the Police;

(viii)  An employee of the Public Service who is employed:

(1)        In the Ministry of Justice; or

(2)        In the Department of Corrections; or

(3)        As an officer of the High Court or of a District Court;

(ix)    A party to a management contract entered into under section 4A of the Penal Institutions Act 1954 or to a security contract entered into under section 36G of that Act;

Section 4A (external link)

Section 36G (external link)

(x)     A security officer within the meaning of section 2(1) of the Penal Institutions Act 1954;

Section 2(1) (external link)

(xi)    Mentally disordered persons.

(xii)   An employee of the Legal Services Agency.

You will have to give reasons for challenges for cause and for lack of qualification.  The Judge will determine every such challenge in private and will discharge upon such challenge if satisfied of the fact.

5.         The Judge, on an application made to him or her by the Crown with the consent of the defendant or by the defendant with the consent of the Crown, will direct any number of jurors to “stand by” until all the jurors have been called who are available for the trial.  The Judge of his or her own motion may give a direction to any number of jurors to stand by until all the jurors have been called who are available for the trial, where he or she is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to do so.

6.         After the jury is constituted and before the case is opened or the defendant given in charge, the jury will be sworn.

7.         The jury will retire to choose a foreperson and the name of the foreperson will be announced in court.

8.         The charges against you will be read to the jury, and their duty to decide verdicts of guilty or not guilty on each of the charges will be stated.

9.         The remaining jurors will be dismissed.

10.       The Judge will address the jury and explain matters relevant to the trial.

11.       Counsel for the prosecution will then make an opening address to the jury.

12.       The Judge may then give you leave to make an opening statement to the jury, for the purpose of identifying the issue or issues at the trial.  If so, you may advise the jury of the nature of your defences, and the nature of any evidence counsel for the prosecution and/or you intend to give or call.  You do not have to make an opening statement.

13.       Counsel for the prosecution will call the witnesses he or she relies on to prove the Crown’s case.  You may cross-examine any witness.  Counsel for the prosecution is entitled to re-examine each witness following the cross-examination.

14.       At the end of the case for the prosecution, the Judge will ask you if you wish to give or call evidence.

15.       If you elect to give or call evidence, you may make an opening address to the jury.  You will then give evidence and/or call witnesses.  Counsel for the prosecution may cross-examine you and any witnesses you call.  You may re-examine any witnesses you call.

16.       When all the evidence is concluded, counsel for the prosecution will make a closing address to the jury.

17.       You may then make a closing address to the jury.  Counsel for the prosecution has no right of reply.

18.       The Judge will sum up to the jury, and direct the jury on matters of law.

19.       The jury will retire to consider its verdict.

20.       The jury may ask questions to which the Judge will respond in open court, with you and counsel for the prosecution present.

21.       The jury will deliver its verdict in open court.

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