Limit to Jury Trials

The Minister of Justice, Simon Power, wants to limit trial by jury to serious crimes. At the moment, anyone who is accused of a crime which could bring a sentence of three months in jail, can choose to have a jury trial. The problem is that this takes a long time. People waiting for their case to come up in the District Court are now waiting around 12 months while people waiting for a High Court case usually have to wait 18 months. Simon Power wants to change the law so that only those accused of a crime which brings a sentence of three years or more can choose trial by jury. More minor crimes would be tried by a judge alone.