The jury’s wait for mental health help related to their trial experience is finally over after a law passed last year officially took effect on Monday.
Under the new law, jurors are permitted to disclose information about jury proceedings to medical professionals. Received royal approval in October 2022.
The Penal Code was amended under the new law to allow disclosure of information from jury duty to provide former jurors with medical or psychiatric treatment, treatment, or counseling.
New bill allows jurors in Canada to disclose trial information to mental health providers
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Lucy Moncion, an independent senator who has pushed for the passage of such legislation for years, told Global News it was a “big day.”
“Jurors now have access to mental health professionals, and I think this is very important to the integrity of those who have to do jury duty,” Moncion said.
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Moncion said the inability to speak about evidence seen or information heard during the trial could have implications.
“You keep everything to yourself and you’ll be there for the rest of your life because when you’re on the jury for the jury, the same people don’t come out at the end of the process.” she said.
Conservative Senator Pierre-Hugues Boavenu, a longtime victim rights advocate, introduced the bill in late 2021 after the federal elections, and it passed the Senate within two weeks. It was then sent to the House of Representatives, where he was finally passed in September 2022.
However, the bill died in the Senate when the 2019 federal election was called after first being introduced in the House in 2018. I submitted it to the Senate, but it didn’t pass before the next election was called.
Moncion said part of the reason it took so long was probably due to visibility, but the House Judiciary Committee is looking into the issue and has taken a national approach to enforcing jury assistance. After recommending it, I believe it was ‘raised as a necessity’.
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