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Why Was I Picked For Jury Service?

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 18 Dec 2023 | comments*Discuss
Jury Court Case Coroner Coroner’s Court

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.

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Jury service should be optional, a lot of folks are not interested in doing jury service for a system that doesn't offer justice. It should be a choice to go or not go, but instead these courts pressure people into it. Don't be forced into something that you dint want to do or feel comfortable with! Killers are often bailed, paedophiles get slaps on the wrists....while petty thugs get jail time. Makes no sense. The system is corrupt! The only ones who benefit are those who work for the system. Just refuse to go and explain that the courts don't jail those who need jailed so you can't possibly sit in court and judge someone else's case when you know nothing about the person(s)
Irish - 18-Dec-23 @ 6:21 PM
I have never done jury service and would love to before I am too old-3 years to go!
Aggie - 8-May-23 @ 7:21 PM
Not sure at all how reliable your advice is as the first point you made is no longer correct. The upper age for jury service was raised to 75 as long ago as 2016 !!!
gumby - 26-Apr-23 @ 1:15 PM
I got a summons for jury service letter. it freaked me the hell out. I already have anxiety disorder & I recently got diagnosed with Autism which i am having a hard time processing, especially getting the diagnosis in my mid 50's. a week after my autism diagnosis, the man who has been like a father to me since i was 18 died . i'm finding it hard to cope at present and don't even know what day of the week it is, along with that i have been drinking a lot of alcohol ( have had issues with alcohol for last ten years on and off) recently , have a lot of difficulty with social interactions, i struggle with communication, remembering and understanding things and know i would not be able to process, remember, weigh upstuff in a court, i would not have the capacity to do that, i'd have panic attacks or a meltdown. i'm a nervous wreck at present and find form filling a nightmare.
Danno - 13-Oct-22 @ 6:22 PM
I sent a letter saying l cudnit do it due to having anxiety problems but l wish l never now as this wyd help me bk in making myself feeling positive about it so will l beable to retrieve that snd still beable to do it as this wud be such an honour for me as l was in the reserve army
Jt - 28-Aug-22 @ 9:30 PM
I totally disagree that the public have to be called to do Jury Service.And they say it is your civic duty.Thats a lot of nonsense.As Judges, Lawyers, Solicitors get paid good pay.And the public just get the inconvenience.
None - 6-Aug-22 @ 8:28 PM
I was asked to phone after 5pm on the day before. An electronic answer said I shall phone tomorrow after 5pm. The next day the electronic answer again said I shall call them tomorrow after 5pm. I wonder for how many days they can ask you do do that.
Jane - 4-Jul-22 @ 6:21 PM
Can you get called for fury duty in a different county to where you live e.g. I live in Lincolnshire could I be called to Nottinghamshire for fury duty
Mac - 28-Sep-21 @ 5:20 PM
I did jury service in December 1986. Will I have to do it again.
Shelley - 25-Jun-21 @ 12:38 PM
Please can you consider me for jury service, I have always wanted to try when I went Harrow Magistrates for work otherwise experienced Miss Manning
Mum - 7-Jun-21 @ 10:00 PM
I would like to be called for jury service I did work experiences for Harrow Magistrates and love it, not clever enough to ever be a lawyer but find it so fascinating Bit itsdefinitely something I would love to please find me a reliablejuror.
Mum - 7-Jun-21 @ 9:56 PM
I've received the summons for jury service but I don't have any id (aside from my birth certificate - the small one) will I still be able to do jury service?
Alan - 7-Jun-21 @ 4:29 PM
I've been summoned as a juror but would rather watch paint dry ,I have no interest in it what do ever and it's none of my Business ,Civic Duty means nothing to me , I've never even voted and never will.
Mac - 6-Feb-21 @ 11:53 PM
I was summoned for jury service for.23rd November. Had a phone call told i would be contacted back. They rang the next day to say i was excused. Why would this be?
Nat - 17-Nov-20 @ 11:40 PM
I received a jury duty summons, but it got cancelled by the court because of the covid-19 virus. Will I get the opportunity to do jury service another time?
Lisa - 24-Jun-20 @ 9:58 AM
I was a victim ov identify theft few years ago today i received a letter sayin im summoned for jury service some idiots out their to use my name their very stupid I've got precious convictions and servrrd in hmp so the person using my name has took it too far
teardrop - 9-Dec-19 @ 7:16 PM
Why is society punishing me for earning money and contributing,I'll lose a lot of money and I don't give a monkey's about civic duty, I'll vote whichever way gets me out sooner.
Thomo - 20-Nov-19 @ 7:45 PM
I received a Jury Summons letter on the 26th July, to appear in court on 23rd Sept. However I was out of the UK at the time and didn't actually see the summons until i returned home on 24th Sept. therefore i havn't responded within the 7 days as instructed. I have had no follow-up letters, have i simply been forgot about? Im fine with this if that's the case! But I'm also wary of a £1000 fine they warn you of, if you dont respond without a reasonable excuse.
Tom - 25-Sep-19 @ 4:21 PM
I am a single mum with a 4 year old daughter no family and no friends to help me with my daughter do i have to do jury service?
Ytsrik978 - 3-Sep-19 @ 7:41 PM
Hi, If I have been summons for jury service will I definitely have to attend or is it a process of elimination? Thank you.
Shell - 8-Jul-19 @ 7:15 PM
I came to uk for temporary work....i have been here since 3yrs.How to approach. Please advise.
srini - 11-Apr-18 @ 10:05 PM
I work for a large company and we are unsure how to proceed - we have a partner on long term jury service since 23 Oct 2017. She is still serving, however courts have now closed over xmas & new year - wld she be expected to return to work over this period. We currently send a letter to the court saying that we would not expect her to return to work as they are serving long term jury service, however as court has closed- we are not sure what the procedure would be? Where can I get the correct advice please
Lins - 29-Dec-17 @ 1:38 PM
I have been called for jury service the week before Christmas. This is fine, but I'm wondering when the 10 working days would be up. I have a couple of days away booked for the 3/4 th January.
LAH - 26-Oct-17 @ 5:09 PM
@Mike - Yep, that snuck in without anyone seeing. It was being muted a few years ago. It's because no one younger wants to do it as it's such a bind.
RaBB - 23-Oct-17 @ 1:52 PM
What is the definition of a 'reasonable distance' for a jurer to travel to a Crown Court?
Jimbo - 22-Oct-17 @ 7:30 PM
I have received a Jury Summons to attend at the and of December 2017 The booklet, Guide to Jury summons,states, The age requirement as 18 years to 76 years to qualify ...I AM 74 ??? Our Response: The Juries Act 1974 states that only those between the ages of 18 and 70 may be summoned to carry out jury service in England and Wales. You friend's step-father would have to contact the Jury Central Summoning Bureau (JCSB) to alert them to the oversight. CourtroomAdvice - 16-Oct-17 @ 2:47 PM
Mike - 22-Oct-17 @ 5:54 PM
My husband has booked holiday after 10 days my jury citation .Is possible that scheriff court refuse meexcuse .i handed in court before my citation day start.
Jo - 17-Oct-17 @ 11:38 AM
Neil - Your Question:
My friends step father has just had a jury summons. He is 79, how is this possible?

Our Response:
The Juries Act 1974 states that only those between the ages of 18 and 70 may be summoned to carry out jury service in England and Wales. You friend's step-father would have to contact the Jury Central Summoning Bureau (JCSB) to alert them to the oversight.
CourtroomAdvice - 16-Oct-17 @ 2:47 PM
My friends step father has just had a jury summons. He is 79, how is this possible?
Neil - 14-Oct-17 @ 4:43 PM
Hi, I completed jury service some weeks ago, my employer wants the certificate of loss of earnings back. I handed this into the court on my first day and don't have , however, when HR filled the certificate in they emailed it back to me. In effect they have it. I have pointed this out and now they want any correspondence I have had from the court including travel and meal allowance confirmation. My question is, can they demand this information? Thanks
jurorserv - 22-Aug-17 @ 4:14 PM
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