Those persons who have been called for jury duty have been reminded that they must be present at the Supreme Court Monday to Friday for the hearing of cases during the session, unless specially excused by the presiding Judge.
?? This reminder has come from Chief Marshall of the Supreme Court, Adrian Lovell.
Stressing that it was an offence to absent oneself from jury duty if summoned, Mr. Lovell stated: "All persons are required to appear in court in obedience to a summons.?? It is also ???Contempt of Court’ to willfully disobey."
He added that in cases where employees were summoned for jury duty, they should present the summons to their employers and inform them that they had been duly served to perform such civic duty.
He urged employers not to make it difficult for their employees who had been summoned to perform jury duty; and pointed out that to do so was in contravention of the law.
"It is a civic duty and no employer should penalise an employee for service to his country.?? Section 25A, – Subsection 2, states that ??"no employer shall, whether directly, by intimidation, undue influence or in any other way prevent or attempt to prevent an employee summoned for jury service from answering the summons… It is an offence under this Act."
Mr. Lovell assured employees that deductions would not be made from their salaries while they were performing jury duty.
"Technically, the employee is still at work, but only performing a civic duty not of his own calling, and if an employer does not adhere to the Jury Act, there are fines and penalties in place.
"An employer who contravenes this section is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of $5,000 or imprisonment for six months," he stressed.
Mr. Lovell further pointed out that: "Where an employer who is a body corporate contravenes this section, every director or manager of such body corporate, who knew or ought to have known of the contravention, is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of $5,000 or imprisonment for six months."