Monday, October 13, 2014

Jury Duty, Part 1

By Pascal Dennis

Last year at this time, I spent three days on a jury panel, waiting to see if I'd be picked to serve.

My corresponding blogs generated some interest, so I thought I return to the topic.

A handful of countries, America, Canada and others, have been lucky enough to inherit the British system of law & order.

I strongly believe it's our civic duty to support it. So when I was called to serve, I answered.

The judge was a learned, humane and articulate man, who spoke eloquently of this same duty, and contrasted our system with those of other, less lucky countries.

Nonetheless, despite his eloquence, my commitment & that of my fellow jury panel members, our three days felt largely wasted...

Wasted in the Toyota Production System sense -- we experienced unnecessary delay, errors, over-processing, transportation and motion waste.

In the end very few of us were called as jury members. Many were frustrated by all the waste, and unlikely to want to serve again.

Our experience was no exception. Across America and Canada, court back-logs are reaching two & three years, and bad guys are getting off.

As ever, the problem is in the system, and not the people, who I found to be courteous & capable.

Here’s our challenge: How to preserve the integrity of a humane & splendid 19th century system -- while satisfying the needs of a 21st century society?

Can the principles of the Toyota Production System help?

If so, how?

More to come.

Best regards,


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