Pilar Aida Rojas v Brian Berllaque: PC 10 Nov 2003

PC (Gibraltar) The system of selecting a criminal jury obliged men to be available for selection, but women could choose not to be on the role of jurors. The result was that jury lists and juries were almost entirely male.
Held: (Majority) Since juries are chosen at random from jury lists, a non-discriminatory method of compilation of the jury lists is an essential ingredient of a fair trial by jury. This is inherent in the concept of a fair trial by an impartial jury. Fairness is achieved in the composition of a jury by random selection from a list which is itself fairly constituted. Section 19 of the Supreme Court Ordinance violates section 8 of the Constitution in so far as it discriminates between men and women regarding liability for jury service. There is a strong but rebuttable presumption that a jury acts impartially.


Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Millett, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe


[2003] UKHL 76, Times 13-Nov-2003, [2003] UKPC 76, [2004] 1 WLR 201


PC, Bailii


CitedPorter and Weeks v Magill HL 13-Dec-2001
Councillors Liable for Unlawful Purposes Use
The defendant local councillors were accused of having sold rather than let council houses in order to encourage an electorate which would be more likely to be supportive of their political party. They had been advised that the policy would be . .
CitedPonsamy Poongavanam v Regina PC 6-Apr-1992
(Mauritius) The defendant appealed conviction on the ground that the jury had been all male. Women being effectively excluded from jury service in Mauritius. The question was whether, having regard to the composition of the jury, the appellant’s . .
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions v Hutchinson; Director of Public Prosecutions v Smith HL 12-Jul-1990
Protesters objected that byelaws which had been made to prevent access to common land, namely Greenham Common were invalid.
Held: The byelaws did prejudice the rights of common. The House was concerned to clarify the test applicable when . .
CitedCommissioner of Police v Davis PC 1994
(Bahamas) Certain statutory provisions relating to drug offences infringed the Constitution of The Bahamas. A question then arose on the severability of one of the offending statutory provisions, section 22(8) of the Dangerous Drugs Act. This . .
CitedBerthill Fox v Regina (No 2) PC 11-Mar-2002
(Saint Christopher and Nevis) The appellant had been convicted of murder, for which the penalty was death. He claimed that the sentence was an infringement of his constitutional and human rights. The constitution declared that it prevailed over all . .
CitedRegina v Hughes PC 11-Mar-2002
(Saint Lucia) Having been convicted of murder, the defendant was made subject to the mandatory death penalty applied under St Lucia law. He appealed successfully on the basis that the constitution of St Lucia protected him from inhuman or degrading . .
CitedReyes v The Queen PC 11-Mar-2002
(Belize) The Criminal Code of Belize provided that any murder by shooting was to be treated as Class A Murder, and be subject to the mandatory death penalty. The applicant having been convicted, appealed saying this was inhuman or degrading . .
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions of Jamaica v Mollison (No 2) PC 22-Jan-2003
(Jamaica ) The appellant had been convicted of murder as a youth. He was sentenced to be detained during Her Majesty’s pleasure. The actual length of time to be served was decided by the Governor-General. The decision by the Governor was clearly a . .

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Connor and another; Regina v Mirza HL 22-Jan-2004
Extension of Inquiries into Jury Room Activities
The defendants sought an enquiry as to events in the jury rooms on their trials. They said that the secrecy of a jury’s deliberations did not fit the human right to a fair trial. In one case, it was said that jurors believed that the defendant’s use . .
CitedGhaidan v Godin-Mendoza HL 21-Jun-2004
Same Sex Partner Entitled to tenancy Succession
The protected tenant had died. His same-sex partner sought a statutory inheritance of the tenancy.
Held: His appeal succeeded. The Fitzpatrick case referred to the position before the 1998 Act: ‘Discriminatory law undermines the rule of law . .
CitedMarshall and Others v Deputy Governor of Bermuda and Others PC 24-May-2010
(Bermuda) The claimants challenged their recruitment by conscription to the Bermuda Regiment on several different grounds. The issues now were whether conscription was lawful only where volunters were insufficient, and whether the acceptance of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Constitutional, Human Rights, Discrimination, Criminal Practice

Updated: 08 June 2022; Ref: scu.187746