HC Deb 15 February 1884 vol 284 c1005

asked the Lord Advocate, If his attention has been directed to the inconvenience often experienced by those summoned to attend as jurymen; and, if he can hold out any hope that the matter will be dealt with by the Government at an early date?


I am aware that inconvenience is not infrequently caused to those who are summoned as jurymen; but I fear that the performance of this Constitutional duty must always be more or less onerous. The necessity for summoning a larger number of jurymen than may be required arises from the fact that the accused person has in Scotland a right to challenge five jurymen without showing any cause; and, consequently, where there is a large number of persons to be tried together, it has sometimes been found that, in consequence of challenges, the requisite number of jurymen could not be obtained, leading to a postponement of the trial, and consequently great inconvenience. I may say, however, that that inconvenience has been so far mitigated by the institution of pleading diets; and I am in communication with the authorities to see whether arrangements cannot be made for further remedying it.