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A jury should consist only of those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Ontario

,

Canada

In R v. Frampton, 2021 ONSC 5733, Phillips J. decided that the jury should consist only of those who had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (para 2).

In light of the delta variant and the increase of cases of COVID-19 in the community, allowing an unvaccinated person to serve as a juror would irresponsibly introduce risk to the trial. An unvaccinated juror was a potential conduit for the Covid-19 virus to make its way into the jury room. This could derail the proceeding or prove to be a constant distraction (para 7).

Phillips J. concluded that including an unvaccinated person is physically unable to perform the role of juror pursuant to s. 4 of the Juries Act (para 8). Phillips J. rejected the following alternatives in coming to that conclusion: (i) that testing the unvaccinated juror could ensure that s/he does not carry the virus; (ii) other non-vaccination protection measures were sufficient to ensure everyone’s safety; and (iii) that accommodations are made elsewhere for unvaccinated persons.

April 14, 2022
R v. Frampton, 2021 ONSC 5733