Law is constantly evolving, changing with the values and perspectives of a society. The underlying principles of a legal system do not alter, though, and must be nurtured and strengthened, no matter what the circumstances. Such is the case for jury trials, which are rightly preserved by our Basic Law. The peculiarities of Hong Kong's legal system mean that the ideal of a trial judged by people of a similar background to the person accused of a serious crime is not always possible. With most trials conducted in English, in keeping with our British heritage and standing as an international financial centre, the educational standards of jurors are sometimes in marked contrast to the people whose fate they are deciding. This makes for a much smaller pool of potential jurors from which courts can choose. The problem has been exacerbated by professions seen as performing essential duties or having vested interests being excluded. The result is that 574,000 of our people can serve. Jury service is an important civic duty. If we are excluded from the system, a basic right is being kept from us. For these reasons, the Law Reform Commission's consultation process on broadening the jury pool is welcome. But it must not end when the suggestions have been reviewed and changes enshrined in law. Every effort has to be made to make juries as inclusive as possible. The biggest shift in thinking in the consultation paper is scrapping exemptions on professions such as doctors, dentists and pilots. Numbers of potential jurors would be further increased if backing is given to the age limit for jury service being raised from 65 to 70. That the minimum age will remain 21 rather than 18, as it is in many other jurisdictions, is an anomaly. Nonetheless, the measures will go some way to lifting our jury pool size. A significant boost will come in 2010, when the requirement that jurors have to have a minimum education attainment of Form Seven - which presently excludes two-thirds of school leavers - shifts in line with all students being expected to complete six years of high school. While this theoretically implies that most school leavers would be eligible, the language requirement of a minimum of a level 3 standard of English and Chinese will still bar the majority. Hong Kong's circumstances have not been detrimental to the rule of law. While our courts generally deliver more guilty verdicts than other jurisdictions that also follow common law, our juries have a good reputation internationally for understanding the proceedings and reaching decisions based on the evidence. As good as the record may be, though, the system has to be strengthened. The consultation process must do this. But whatever comes of it, constant review and improvement are essential.