Jury Service

What is Jury Service and what does it involve?

Jury Service is a request for you to make up a panel of 12 jury members in order to reach a fair verdict on a civil or criminal court case. Trial by jury is considered the foundation of a democratic legal system as each member of the jury is appointed to represent a cross-section of society.

How will I be asked to take part in Jury Service?

The 12 members of a jury are selected at random. You will then receive a Jury Summons informing you of your requirement to attend, as well as the date and time on which your service will begin.

You will not receive any details of the case, or those involved in the case until you begin Jury Service, which is around nine weeks after the initial Jury Summons.

What types of cases will I serve on?

There is no restriction on the type of case on which you will make up a panel of 12 jury members. The cases can be civil or criminal, but no case will require any legal knowledge. The role of a jury is to consider the evidence brought against a defendant and make a decision based upon their own personal view of the case. The legal insights will be provided to you via each side’s legal representative in defence of, and attempted prosecution of, the defendant.

How long do I need to serve for?

Jury service usually lasts around 10 days but can sometimes take longer. If a case is expected to last for an extended amount of time, you will be notified in advance.

Will I be forced to take time off work?

You may be expected to attend Jury Service during your normal working hours. If this is the case, then your employer must release you in order to attend Jury Service or they can be found in contempt of court.

Since 2005, it has been illegal to punish someone due to their involvement in Jury Service. If you have been treated unfairly (such as denied promotion or dismissed) you have the right to challenge this.

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For more information on:

  • I can’t afford to leave work for Jury Service?
  • Can I opt out of Jury Service?