Justice is blind as long as it isn't deaf: Excluding deaf people from jury duty - An Australian human rights breach

Journal article


Spencer, David, Roque, Mehera San, Napier, Jemina and Hale, Sandra. (2017) Justice is blind as long as it isn't deaf: Excluding deaf people from jury duty - An Australian human rights breach. Australian Journal of Human Rights. 23(3), pp. 332 - 350. https://doi.org/10.1080/1323238X.2017.1392479
AuthorsSpencer, David, Roque, Mehera San, Napier, Jemina and Hale, Sandra
Abstract

In the wake of a recent decision by the High Court of Australia, currently a deaf person, who relies on sign language, is not able to serve as a juror because Australian law does not permit the swearing in of an interpreter as the ‘13th person’ in the jury room. In 2016, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities found that Australia is in breach of its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and indicated that legislative and policy change is both mandated and feasible. Four pieces of research conducted over the last decade in Australia have proved that deaf people have the ability to understand complex legal discourse in a courtroom setting using sign language interpretation and, therefore, are able to discharge the functions of juror. The latest research, funded by the Australian Research Council, has highlighted some residual procedural and logistical issues, alongside reservations from some legal stakeholders involved in the project. However, this article argues that these can be addressed, and what is now required is the motivation to address this breach of human rights that treats deaf people differently to hearing people.

Keywordshuman rights; discrimination; deaf jurors; Auslan interpreters; court practice and procedure; evidence; jury deliberations
Year2017
JournalAustralian Journal of Human Rights
Journal citation23 (3), pp. 332 - 350
PublisherUniversity of New South Wales
ISSN1323-238X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/1323238X.2017.1392479
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85044986001
Page range332 - 350
Place of publicationAustralia
Permalink -

https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8v429/justice-is-blind-as-long-as-it-isn-t-deaf-excluding-deaf-people-from-jury-duty-an-australian-human-rights-breach

Restricted files

Publisher's version

  • 0
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month
These values are for the period from 19th October 2020, when this repository was created.

Export as

Related outputs

Jury Instructions: Comparing hearing and deaf jurors' comprehension via direct or mediated communication
Napier, Jemina and Spencer, David. (2017) Jury Instructions: Comparing hearing and deaf jurors' comprehension via direct or mediated communication. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law. 24(1), pp. 1 - 29. https://doi.org/10.1558/ijsll.30878
Admissibility of a statement made at mediation
Spencer, David. (2017) Admissibility of a statement made at mediation. Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal. 28(2), pp. 75 - 80.
Deaf citizens as jurors in Australian courts: Participating via professional interpreters
Hale, Sandra, Roque, Mehera San, Spencer, David and Napier, Jemina. (2017) Deaf citizens as jurors in Australian courts: Participating via professional interpreters. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law. 24(2), pp. 151 - 176. https://doi.org/10.1558/ijsll.32896
Costs order against non-attending party to mediation, costs for breach of confidentiality, and mediation media watch
Spencer, David. (2017) Costs order against non-attending party to mediation, costs for breach of confidentiality, and mediation media watch. Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal. 28(3), pp. 145 - 148.
Landing in the right class of subject to contract agreements
Spencer, David. (2015) Landing in the right class of subject to contract agreements. Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal. 26(2), pp. 75 - 85.
Becoming a lawyer: Success at law school
Brogan, Michael and Spencer, David. (2014) Becoming a lawyer: Success at law school Oxford University Press.
Was Moses peer observed? The ten commandments of peer observation of teaching
Spencer, David. (2014) Was Moses peer observed? The ten commandments of peer observation of teaching. In In J Sachs and M Parsell (Ed.). Peer review of learning and teaching in higher education: International perspectives pp. 183 - 199 Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7639-5
Dispute resolution in Australia: cases, commentary and materials
Spencer, David. (2014) Dispute resolution in Australia: cases, commentary and materials Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia Ltd.
Curriculum mapping to embed graduate capabilities
Spencer, David, Riddle, Matthew and Knewstubb, Bernadette. (2012) Curriculum mapping to embed graduate capabilities. Higher Education Research and Development. 31(2), pp. 217 - 231. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2011.554387
Principles of Dispute Resolution
Spencer, David. (2011) Principles of Dispute Resolution Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia Limited.
The decline of the trial in Australia
Spencer, David. (2011) The decline of the trial in Australia. The Arbitrator and Mediator. 30(2), pp. 1 - 10.
A shared responsibility in the administration of justice: A pilot study of signed language interpretation access for deaf jurors
Napier, Jemina, Spencer, David and Sabolcec, Joseph. (2009) A shared responsibility in the administration of justice: A pilot study of signed language interpretation access for deaf jurors. In In S.B.Hale, U. Ozolins and L. Stern (Ed.). The critical link 5 : quality in interpreting : a shared responsibility pp. 99 - 118 John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Dispute Resolution in Australia: Cases, Commentary and Materials (2nd Edition)
Spencer, David and Hardy, Samantha. (2009) Dispute Resolution in Australia: Cases, Commentary and Materials (2nd Edition) Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia Limited.
Mediation
Spencer, David. (2009) Mediation. In In M. Kirby (Ed.). Laws of Australia pp. 3 - 482 Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia Limited.
Deal or no deal: teaching on-line negotiation to law students
Spencer, David and Hardy, Samantha. (2008) Deal or no deal: teaching on-line negotiation to law students. QUT Law Review. 8(1), pp. 93 - 117.
Guilty or not guilty: An investigation of deaf jurors' access to court proceedings via sign language interpreting
Napier, Jemina and Spencer, David. (2008) Guilty or not guilty: An investigation of deaf jurors' access to court proceedings via sign language interpreting. In In D. Russell and S.Hale (Ed.). Interpreting in legal settings pp. 72 - 122 Gallaudet University Press.
Law Briefs: Contract Law
Spencer, David. In D. Spencer (Ed.). (2008) Law Briefs: Contract Law Pearson Education.
Deal or no deal: Teaching on-line negotiation to law students
Spencer, David and Hardy, Samantha. (2008) Deal or no deal: Teaching on-line negotiation to law students. QUT Law Review. 8(1), pp. 93 - 117.
Surviving Law School
Brogan, Michael and Spencer, David. (2008) Surviving Law School Oxford University Press.
Deaf jurors' access to court proceedings via sign language interpreting: an investigation
Napier, Jemina, Spencer, David and Sabolcec, Joseph. (2007) Deaf jurors' access to court proceedings via sign language interpreting: an investigation Australia: NSW Law Reform Commission.
Mediation Law and Practice
Spencer, David and Brogan, Michael. (2006) Mediation Law and Practice Cambridge University Press.
Judicial mediators: Is the time right? - Part 2
Spencer, David. (2006) Judicial mediators: Is the time right? - Part 2. Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal. 17(3), pp. 189 - 199.
Judicial mediators: Is the time right? - Part 1
Spencer, David. (2006) Judicial mediators: Is the time right? - Part 1. Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal. 17(2), pp. 130 - 139.
Essential Dispute Resolution
Spencer, David. In D. Barker (Ed.). (2005) Essential Dispute Resolution Cavendish Publishing.
Costs sanctions against parties refusing to mediate
Spencer, David. (2005) Costs sanctions against parties refusing to mediate. Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal. 16(1), pp. 15 - 29.