A Supreme Court judge may not allow unvaccinated people to appear as potential jurors in an upcoming three to four week murder trial.
Justice Robert Pearce said that in light of the visit of a 15-year-old to a Newnham supermarket and the requirement of people to go into quarantine that he was toying with the idea of asking potential jurors about their vaccination status.
During a directions hearing he said COVID-19 may raise a few jury issues for the trial of Natalie Maher which starts on October 12.
"I don't know of my powers under the Juries Act ... I'll think about it and would ask you to do the same," he said to Crown counsel John Ransom and defence counsel Evan Hughes.
Justice Pearce said that such a move may reduce the randomness of the jury panel.
"I am not sure what would happen if a juror says they want to exercise their right to be a juror," he said.
Mr Hughes said his position was that only vaccinated people should be allowed in the court building.
Ms Maher, 46, formerly of Western Australia has pleaded not guilty to the murder of her 71-year-old mother Veronica Corstorphine in South Launceston between October 3-5 in 2019.
Mr Ransom said that there were eight volumes of material to be used during the trial related to family and friends of the deceased, forensic pathologist reports, medical material, financial documents of Ms Maher and the deceased, telecommunications material, a Western Australian Police interview and a one for supplemental material.
He said the prosecution was still considering whether a look at a South Launceston home would occur.
He said COVID would also affect witnesses in the trial with witnesses from Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Western Australia expected to give evidence by video link.
Mr Ransom said two legal issues would be argued after the jury was sworn in.
"One is the admissibility of a record of interview of Ms Maher in Western Australia," he said.
"The state does not seek to adduce all the interview but examine one witness on a voir dire."
He said that decomposition of the body meant there was a limit on what Dr Ritchey found during the autopsy.
Justice Pearce remanded Ms Maher in custody until October 12 at 10am.
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