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 on bail or that has previous convictions or has served a prison sentence.
If you are currently or have in the past suffered from a mental health problem. This includes if you are in a hospital, visit a doctor for treatment regularly, or you are in guardianship under section 7 of the Mental Health Act 1983.
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.
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.
I've just served jury duty. Was called for two weeks, served on one trial lasting 3 days and was then released from duty and didn't do the second week. The reason this happened is that all the courts were hearing trials and there were not going to be any new ones starting at the beginning of the second week - which is why we were released.Selection for jury duty IS random, both at the initial summoning stage and once you reach the courts. It is also a very interesting experience and although there is responsibility as a juror, you are clearly guided by the judge (who may over-rule the jury's verdict if they feel it is incorrect). Therefore, there's no need to worry about it! You may find it's one of the most interesting experiences in life. If you cannot attend for longer than two weeks, you will be given the chance to explain why and if it is for work purposes, you are likely to be excused from serving longer.Enjoy it!
pixiefeet - 16-May-13 @ 3:10 PM
You think your unlucky getting called. I've now been cited to attend for the tenth time in the space of 19 years. That works out at once every two years. I have managed to be excused on most occasions, but have served on a jury three times so far. I spoke to the Jury service and asked why I keep getting called and they said it was randomly selected by computer...My arse. I wish their computer picked my lottery numbers!!! . Remember everybody to check the excusal section at the back as I have managed to be exempted due to the fact I have been called withing the last five years. Even if your are not selected this is a good reason to avoid this CIVIC Duty.
craig - 24-Apr-13 @ 4:36 PM
Please could you reply
My husband has been called for a jury service
but he cannot speak english and also has difficulty understanding it too
he he be excused from this?
also what section does he fill in the form abd what to write?
please, please help
rima - 25-Jan-13 @ 1:36 PM
I had a short reactive depression several years ago, and have not required treatment ever since. Does this mean that I am not qualified for jury service NOW?
I have received a second summons. Last time I did not have to do it, and presumed therefore that I NEVER would be considered suitable. Am I right or wrong?
If I am considered suitable I hope to be able to defer it on grounds that I am just about to join a small childcare business, and we have three new families expecting us to be able to look after their children at the beginning of next year term. It would be really disruptive if I were away on jury service at the end of January. Alternative cover for me cannot be found at such short notice, and babies and small children need continuity of care. I would however be available during some school holiday periods at a later date. Would deferral be allowed under these circumstances?
Thank-you for you kind attention.
Becca - 7-Dec-12 @ 11:49 AM
Anna - on my recent summons, the note on the envelope said that if the person does not still live at the address, it should not be forwarded, but returned with an explanation. Your landlord should have sent it back. I would perhaps write to the court with an explanation.
shazzy - 5-Sep-12 @ 3:44 PM
Just been called for fourth time and I'm not yet 40!I take the responsibility very seriously but it's just so incredibly boring listening to all that legal jargon...dreading it!
Emma - 14-Aug-12 @ 11:07 AM
I 've received a Jury Summons letter to my old address.
The letter was dated 19/April/2012 and I was told I must attend for my service 18/June/2012. The trouble is that my previous landlord handed me the post on the Saturday 30/06/2012.
I am sure that I have informed HMRC, Council, Banks ect. that I have changed home in October 2011 (6 months before Summons was written), so how is possible that such important letter have gone to my previous place?
Will I have any consequences for not even replying for the Summons?
Anna - 2-Jul-12 @ 1:23 PM
No, it really is random, and people chosen several times just have bad luck, that's all. After all, there's actually a fairly limited pool of people on which to call. Most people did do jury duty at least once in their lives, but having served several times isn't a valid excuse for not doing it again, unfortunately. Likewise, not serving is simply luck. However, if you're self-employed, you do have a good reason for avoiding jury duty.
Chris N - 23-Jun-12 @ 9:57 AM
I was summoned for two weeks jury service, only sat on one jury panel & I wasn't required to attend at all for the 2nd week. Why would this be? Who decides if you are needed to attend court to be selected ?
Ellie - 22-Feb-12 @ 4:17 PM
@Jo. No - if people volunteer themselves it's a no longer a 'random' selection made bythe Jury Central Summoning Bureau (JCSB).
CourtroomAdvice - 14-Sep-11 @ 10:15 AM
I am lucky enough to not have to go out to work and would not be unduly inconvenienced if called for jury service.Is there any way I can volunteer my services?It seems unfair that some people are called a number of times and others not at all.
Jo - 12-Sep-11 @ 10:08 AM
I am 28 years old and have just received my 4th jury summons, which is beyond a joke. This cannot be random, none of my friends have done it - ever! I cannot afford to lose money again.
John - 18-Aug-11 @ 2:33 PM
I've been called for jury duty 3 times, the most recent one I actually got selected for the High Court, it's a combination of the most boring and most interesting thing I've done recently, but I have to say that having someones future resting on your verdict is very scary, it's the same feeling you get when you actually hear your name called to join the jury
zebedee - 14-Jun-11 @ 12:49 AM
I'm due to start mine next week and I am not ashamed to admit dreading the thought of it. I hope I dont get called.
My only concern, and one I cannot find advice on, is my personal and identity safety. I understand that I will only be refered to by a given number rather than name, but I will be sitting their in full view of the accused and anyone else in court. What gaurantees have I got that I will not be followed home by some friend or relative of the accused and threatened or attacked? I will be having to rely on public transport to attend court, a near 2 hour journey. Incidents like that may be rare, but I dont want to risk it.
eddie82 - 9-Jun-11 @ 11:55 PM
Have just been called for Jury Service for the fourth time in 33 years.I am 65 and am absolutely mortified.Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever get chosen again, especially not at this age.I have spoken to people of my own age group who have never been called and would love to do it.If only I could pass my place on to one of them.I have been retired for five and a half years and am not used to getting up early, getting myself ready and out the door.It will be like going to work again!Is there not something in the Human Rights Act whereby a person has the right to refuse to do Jury Service after having done it a certain number of times?I feel I have done my bit for society and contributed towards the legal systemSurely, there most be a fairer process for picking jurors then the present one, where the same people keep getting picked on time and time again.
Joan - 7-Jun-11 @ 4:08 PM
Im the same...Im 63 now and not been called. Id LOVE to sit on a jury...especially on these terrorist cases. I'd Certainly do my "Civic duty" with that lot.
Kafir - 4-Jun-11 @ 1:09 PM
I've just received a summons for the first time, I'm quite excited , I am looking forward for it. I'm afraid they never call my name then it would be frustrated. sharon
sharon - 21-May-11 @ 10:30 PM
I've just received another summons which will mean my forth time sitting on a jury in 21 eligible years , while others never get selected .
The national lottery and premium bonds are random draws , jury service clearly isn't .
I'm all for doing my "civic duty" but 4 times is too much .
I've just taken a year off work to look after my new born while my wife returns to work after materity leave - connection maybe ? ...... I now resent the fact that this will not suffice as a genuine reason to be excused . I'd rather not vote and be taken off the electorial register that go through this again
Frank - 4-May-11 @ 5:24 PM
It's very puzzling - a friend of mine has just been called for Jury Service for the third time in her life - and I have never been called. She doesn't want to do it and I do [before I reach 70!]. Is this just the luck of the Draw or may there be some secret black mark against my name?