Monday, May 21

Woman dismissed from jury due to sight impairment claims that disability equality on juries is a sham


Anna Tylor, Chair of Greater London Fund for the Blind, was dismissed as a juror because she couldn’t read the evidence.

Despite having made repeated requests for accessible formats, Tylor’s needs were dismissed. The court claimed that they were unaware of her sight impairment.

Tylor was required to ‘publically and repeatedly’ explain herself by passing notes to the judge stating that she couldn’t read the evidence.

Tylor has said:

‘It is apparently beyond the wit of either the jury summoning office or one of the most important courts outside London to take note of what is needed to serve successfully as a juror if you can’t see, and therefore to ensure a robust, inclusive or truly representative jury system.’

She added:

‘Publicly and repeatedly, I had to explain myself. I had to endure the public humiliation of passing notes to the judge to say I couldn’t read the evidence before being dismissed as a juror. My personal business played out as a public shambles in front of everyone from the dock to the press gallery.’

The judge discharged her as a juror and claimed that she has complained about her treatment but Taylor has said that ‘without the weight of the law neither she nor I have the power to ensure I am treated reasonably. Only parliament can do that, but it does not. Twenty years after disability equalities legislation, the justice system remains exempt to this important principle.’

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About Author

Hannah is a third-year law student at the University of York and has a particular interest in public law and international criminal law. She joined Legal Loop in August 2017.

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