Serving on a jury is a civic duty that anyone that lives in UK could be called upon to perform. You can be called for jury service if:
You are between the ages of 18 and 70.
You are registered on your local government’s electoral register.
You have lived in the UK, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands for the last 5 years since you were 13 years old.
There are certain people who cannot serve on a jury. These people include anyone who has been in prison over the last 10 years. Other reasons are listed in your jury summons letter.
You have been called for jury service because the Jury Central Summoning Bureau (JCSB) randomly chose your name from the electoral register of everyone eligible for jury service. If you are selected and require further information you can call the JCSB on: 08453 555 567. Don’t forget to have your juror number handy as this is used to identify you. The number will be on the letter your were sent.
If you live in Northern Ireland you can contact the Jury Management Team on: 028 7126 1329. If you live in Scotland you can contact civil jurors court of session on: 0131 240 6772 or for criminal jurors at the high court of justiciary on: 0131 240 6907.
What if I Can’t Attend?
When you receive your jury summons it will state when your jury service will take place. If you can’t be a juror during this time, you should let the Jury Central Summoning Bureau know as soon as possible.
It is possible to defer your jury duty until a more convenient time. If you do apply for a deferment, remember you can only do this once. It’s very important, therefore, you inform the JCSB of any other times over the next 12 months when you definitely won’t be available. They can then make arrangement for your jury service around these dates.
As well as a deferment you can also apply to be completely excused from your jury duty. To be totally excused jury duty you have to have a very good reason, supported with evidence. You will see a box on the summoning form you were sent were you can explain your reasons for applying for an excusal from jury service. The JCSB will evaluate your request and may ask for additional evidence such as doctor’s certificates before making their final decision.
Choosing a Jury
When you arrive at the court stated on your jury summons form, a court official who will look after you while you are at the court will meet you. Expect your bags to be searched and your identity checked. Once this is complete you will be taken to the jury assembly area where all jurors wait.
When a jury is required the court’s clerk will pick 12 people from the jury assembly area. Once you and your fellow jurors are in the court the swearing in will take place.
How Long will I have to be a Juror?
Most jurors are called for approximately 10 working days. During this time you could sit on a number of juries covering a wide-range of trials. In some exceptional circumstances you may be asked to serve as a juror for much longer. If the trial you are involved with will run for more than 2 weeks the judge will usually state this before you are sworn in. It is at this time you can raise any problems you may have with serving longer on the jury.
Can someone Take my Place?
When you are called for jury service the jury summons is made out in your name and your name alone. You cannot transfer the jury summons to someone else. Also, no one else impersonate you on a jury. This is a criminal offence.
Will I Get Picked for a Jury?
The court that has called you for jury duty always calls many more people than they may need. This is to ensure they have enough people when the juries are being picked. You many find that you attend court, but never get picked for actual jury duty. This may seem like a waste of time, but it’s your civic duty to attend the court if you are called, just in case you are chosen for jury duty.
@pisgah - I recently did jury service and I thought it was so interestsing I wish I could get asked again. Marie.
Massy* - 17-Feb-17 @ 10:49 AM
Frankly, I don't know why people want to dodge jury service.
I have had to ask to be excused twice in the past. Once because I was heavily pregnant and the second time I was on maternity leave with a new baby (same baby). I was then selected again a few years later and served on a jury. It was a bit tedious at times but we all took our deliberations very seriously. I felt we were doing our bit for society and it was an experience that I'm glad I did not miss.
I have now been asked again and I hope I am chosen to serve once more.
pisgah - 16-Feb-17 @ 1:37 PM
I've been summoned for jury service next month - I don't drive and there are no public transport options from my town that will get me to court on time. A taxi would be £75 - £90 per day and I can't afford the upfront cost, especially if I'm required to attend multiple days. What are my options?
JimB - 13-Feb-17 @ 4:41 PM
I've got my jury summons next week but I received a text today telling me I'm on standby and not to attend until I'm needed. I didn't think this was something that happened, is it usual to get text messages saying this?
Nikki - 10-Feb-17 @ 5:34 PM
Mags - Your Question:
Hi I have been elected for jury service and would like to know if their are any dress codes I need to know about as I am the kind of person to wear trainer all the time Many Thanks
There is no official dress code for jury service but when choosing what to wear for jury service, the main thing is to be comfortable. You will be sitting in a waiting room or during a court session for a long time so wearing uncomfortable clothes just to look smart is not a good idea. Please see link here which will further help answer your question.
CourtroomAdvice - 9-Feb-17 @ 12:40 PM
I have been elected for jury service and would like to know if their are any dress codes I need to know about as I am the kind of person to wear trainer all the time
Mags - 8-Feb-17 @ 7:53 PM
Hi, i was wondering how long it takes for a letter of confirmation takes to arrive. I sent my form back two weeks ago and have heard nothing since. Does this mean i have not been picked for jury duty?
Ama - 3-Feb-17 @ 4:29 PM
I'm due for jury service and have looked everywhere online for the dress code but can't find it anywhere! Could someone please let me know if I am able to wear jeans, begging a or leggings if I wear them with a blouse or smart top!
Piglett76 - 1-Feb-17 @ 10:02 PM
Some advice JURY AGE IS NOW 75 NOT 70
Nic - 14-Jan-17 @ 10:54 PM
Could you delete my previous comment as shorted now.
l2442 - 11-Jan-17 @ 10:33 AM
l2442 - Your Question:
To whom this may concern, I have recently been contacted to do jury service , and I will not be able to do this as my mother sufferers from various illnesses and cant be left alone at all, there is no one to look after her. As for myself I cant get on a bus as I am petrified of enclosed spaces and suffer from panic attacks due to being pushed down stairs at school. I would be able to get a taxi but it would cost £35 each day from where I live to the court and I cant afford that as myself and my mother are about to go into the process of claiming cares allowance and I do not receive any other benefits. I have been worrying about this since I got the letter on Saturday and I believe in putting my mother before anything. Any advice would be great and If I have to still do Jury service I would be just constantly worrying about my mother and my own wellbeing.
You would have to write to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau explaining why you want to defer. As specified in the article to be totally excused jury duty you have to have a very good reason, supported with evidence. Therefore, you would have to include evidence showing that you won’t be available, for example by providing a letter from your doctor, please see gov.uk link here .
CourtroomAdvice - 10-Jan-17 @ 11:14 AM
To whom this may concern,
I have recently been contacted to do jury service , and I will not be able to do this as my mother sufferers from various illnesses and cant be left alone at all, there is no one to look after her. As for myself I cant get on a bus as I am petrified of enclosed spaces and suffer from panic attacks due to being pushed down stairs at school. I would be able to get a taxi but it would cost £35 each day from where i live to the court and I cant afford that as myself and my mother are about to go into the process of claiming cares allowance and I do not receive any other benefits. I have been worrying about this since I got the letter on Saturday and I believe in putting my mother before anything.
Any advice would be great and If I have to still do Jury service I would be just constantly worrying about my mother and my own wellbeing.
l2442 - 9-Jan-17 @ 1:57 PM
IS a jury summons sent out by ordinary post in scotland? The last couple of times it's been by recorded delivery, but I'm concerned that they may use another system now (2017) (ordinary mail, courier or other) Can any one advise?
sapphire43 - 7-Jan-17 @ 11:02 AM
I'm on jury service at present ,I've done 1 week going for my second next week .we have been looked after exceptionally well .its not as bad as people say I personally have found it really interesting and I'm enjoying it.im glad I went .
Rinda - 2-Dec-16 @ 7:40 PM
@Jury Dodger.I replied to my letter by telling them that, through experience, I didn't trust police officers and that, in my view, the Justice System had proved itself to be both corrupt and incompetent and that it would be pointless having me as a jury member.They didn't accept my excuse.
Patch - 19-Nov-16 @ 11:45 AM
Just had my second summons. Having served in the Police as both an officer and a civilian instructor for a total of 43 years and now retired, I am amazed that I was chosen. I have deep routed feeling and opinions formed after dealing with the less nice side of our countries people for all those years which I am not going to be able to contain. No defence barrister, in their right mind, would want me there, so why me. I have I think done enough civic duty and want only to excused. However, the summons makes it plain that refusal to go is a crime. I have been a law abiding person who now fine's that the Bully Boy system has me between a rock and a hard place. It seems I must ether have mental issues or be a convicted villain to be excused. Where is the fairness in this?
pete - 15-Nov-16 @ 1:57 PM
I've been selected for jury service on the 19th of December, which will run for two weeks, do the courts operate in between Christmas and new year, ?
Graeme - 12-Nov-16 @ 8:15 PM
You could infact ignore the letter. They are not sent out recorded delivery, so infact there is no way to prove you recieved the letter in the first place. The Jury Service send out around 5000 selection letters at a time. Around 20% of the letters are responded to and the other 80% are never chased up. It would take up too much time and resources to enforce these letters. Therefore much easier and cheaper to send out some more letters hoping to scare more people not keen on doing it to respond.
Jury Dodger - 27-Oct-16 @ 6:13 PM
To get out of doing jury service in the UK is simple. Ring the number on the top of the
letter. Give all your details to the call handler. when asked, tell them this........
You have no Faith at all in the British Justice system. You believe all Judges and their advocates are waste of time and you have no interest whatsoever in being involved in this.
Your opinion of the case and outcome would be very biased from the outset.
This usually will be enough to be excused and not get any further summons.
Hope this helps anyone not wanting to do it and is unsure or worried about it.
Jury Dodger - 27-Oct-16 @ 6:01 PM
This is the third time in 10 years that Ihave been called to do jury service I dont think that is ramdon
All the people that Iknow I am the only one person called to do it I have done my duty let someone else do theirs
Robert Hall - 13-Oct-16 @ 7:34 PM
I am on jury service now and the one thing that has annoyed me the most is the lack of earnings , why should I be out of pocket to be here when I have no choice in the matter , surely I should be paid what I normally earn per day , I do not get paid from my company where I work I hasten to add , so for the 10 days I'm here I am losing a serious amount of money I just find this disgusting
David 1954 - 12-Oct-16 @ 4:08 PM
@Becky - despite your human rights - you can get a £1,000 fine if you refuse! Andy.
AW67 - 12-Oct-16 @ 1:51 PM
Why are my human rights taken away in this matter? To be forced into this is disgusting. If i get sent a letter... its mandatory? Nope nope and NOPE. I will NEVER be made to do something i don't want to do.
Becky - 11-Oct-16 @ 10:59 PM
N/A - Your Question:
Could you please confirm that after sitting on a jury case and when the case is over & finished, Is it a offence to mention the case you have been on.Thank you.
You must not discuss the case with anyone, except other jury members in the jury deliberation room.
CourtroomAdvice - 29-Sep-16 @ 1:59 PM
@Toni m - that does seem very remarkable and coincidental! Especially, as many of us will never get picked in our lifetime.
Rob - 29-Sep-16 @ 12:32 PM
Could you please confirm that after sitting on a jury case and when the case is over & finished, Is it a offence to mention the case you have been on.
N/A - 28-Sep-16 @ 7:02 PM
I did jury service about 8 yrs ago. When i got to court my eldest son was also there doing jury service on the same day but a different jury. I wonder what the odds of that happening are?
Toni.m - 28-Sep-16 @ 2:50 PM
What is the maximum number of times one can be called for Jury service in the United Kingdom?
None - 17-Sep-16 @ 11:13 PM
@BrianL - It really is a lottery, many people are never called in their lifetime. I've never been called either, neither has anyone from my extended family.
Stu - 31-Aug-16 @ 10:51 AM
I've always been on the electoral roll wherever I've lived spanning 29 years and I've never been called and as far as I know I've never done anything that would exclude me from serving.Is this unusual in the light that some people I know have been called multiple times?