More people could qualify to be jury members under a Law Reform Commission review on the way juries are selected in Hong Kong. The review, headed by Justice Woo Kwok-hing, will clarify criteria for selection and reconsider educational requirements. There are only 316,812 people now in the jury pool - less than 5 per cent of the population - raising concerns the base is too narrow and needs to be broadened. To be eligible for appointment as a juror, a person is required by the Jury Ordinance to be a resident aged between 21 and 65. They must be deemed 'of good character' and have 'sufficient knowledge of the language in which the proceedings are to be conducted to be able to understand the proceedings'. In practice, only people who have been educated to Form 7 or above are considered for jury duty. The law also excludes people suffering from disabilities that prevent them from serving as jurors, but is not clear on the matter. Commission secretary Stuart Stoker said the review would study whether people with disabilities, such as the blind, the deaf and the wheelchair-bound, could serve as jurors if the judiciary made special arrangements for them. It would also consider whether people with lower English standards would be allow to serve as juries, since more trials were now conducted in Chinese. 'Is it very much part of the process of deciding a case that the juror must be able to see the expressions on the face of the defendant when he or she is giving testimony?' Mr Stoker asked. 'And should the judiciary be required to invest resources in making it possible for people in wheelchairs to serve as jurors?' The legislation does not prescribe how linguistic competence is to be measured. Also there is nothing specifying education levels, and it does not define what constitutes 'good character' or 'residence' for jury purposes. 'What does it mean to be of 'good character'?' Mr Stoker said. 'The aim of the review is to bring clarity to the law.' The need to review the criteria for jury service has been raised by both the Law Society and Bar Association, as well as the Legislative Council from time to time. The terms of reference given to the commission specify reviewing the education standard, age requirement, residency requirement and exemption on disability grounds. The commission has been asked to recommend changes in the law and practice on the matter.