The right for Equality
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Deaf Australians hold the same rights and responsibilities as those who can hear; voting, paying taxes, and obeying the law. Recent attempts by a Deaf woman in Queensland to be considered for jury duty, by asking the court to provide her with an Auslan interpreter, resulted in the High Court determining that interpreters are not allowed in the jury deliberation room, which, consequently, meant that she would be unable to participate in this important activity.
Juries are supposed to be a panel of our peers who represent the community. They are a leveler in legal deliberations and a pillar of our legal system. The Jury Act must be changed to allow interpreters in the deliberation room which would allow deaf people to participate in jury service. We are not asking to change the system in any way, we are asking to participate in it.
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