Juries Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) Team
The Juries Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) Team has been selected as the recipient of the National Center for State Courts’ (NCSC) 2019 G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation. The Munsterman Award recognizes states, local courts, organizations and individuals that have made significant improvements or innovations in jury procedures, operations and practices. The Ontario team is the first Munsterman Award recipient outside of the United States.
Ontario had been criticized for its lack of inclusiveness of jurors, specifically members of the First Nations, Canada’s predominant indigenous people group. Ontario’s old jury list, based on randomly selected individuals from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) database, did not capture subsections of the population, so the validity of the jury roll was challenged.
Although the Supreme Court of Canada decision, R vs. Kokopenance, upheld the validity of the jury roll, the court said Ontario “should continue efforts to increase the representativeness of the source lists for the Ontario jury roll and continue addressing the underrepresentation of First Nations on-reserve residents in the jury system.”
The OHIP Team was established in 2018 to implement a new, single source of data – OHIP’s Registered Persons Database – for identifying potential jurors. The new platform streamlines operations and creates efficiency. In providing a more inclusive and up-to-date source list for the jury roll, the use of the OHIP database increases the opportunity for broader participation on Ontario’s juries.