Most people between 18-69 may be
summoned for jury service
They go to court and are held in a Jury
15 people at a time called in to the court
12 names selected at random
Prosecution or defence may challenge choices
(all white etc)
If judge agrees don't have to sit on the case
So if you are selected one of the 12
you must swear an oath
Choose your holy book or
Choose to affirm
And swear an oath
All others return to Jury assembly
area to possibly serve on another
If you know anyone you must declare it and
you will be replaced on the jury
The prosecution will present their case
Prosecution witnesses will be sworn in and
questioned (evidence in chief)
Defence can cross examine witnesses
Defence present case
Defence witnesses will be sworn in and
Prosecution can cross examine
Prosecution and defence will sum up
Judge will present facts of the case to the jury
Jury will retire to consider their verdict
Most of the time needs a unanimous verdict
but occasionally judge will accept a majority
verdict (he will explain why and when)
Jury elects a foreman or forewoman to act as
spokesperson for the jury
When they return to court they must answer
questions posed by clark e.g on count 1 do
you find the defendant guilty or not guilty?
In the Crown Court when a defendant pleads
not guilty a jury is then sworn in to hear the
case and decide whether he / she is guilty or
Juries are only used in about 1% of criminal
the majority of criminal cases are heard in the
Magistrate Court where Magistrates judge the
To be eligible for jury service a person must:
Be aged between 18 and 70
Be registered to vote on the electoral register
Have lived in the United Kingdom or Isle of
Man for at least five years since reaching the
age of 13
Dead easy, however some people who meet
the above requirements still would be not be
allowed to serve on a jury, because they are
disqualified, ineligible or excused.
What three groups are not
eligible to serve on a jury?
Name at least one example
in each category.
A jury is a sworn body of people convened to
render a rational, impartial verdict (a finding
of fact on a question) officially submitted to
them by a court, or to set a penalty or
A trial in which a jury decides the verdict is
known as a jury trial.
A person who is serving on a jury is known as
The word jury originates Latin, from juris
(law). Juries are most common in common
law adversarial-system jurisdictions. Juries
act as triers of fact, while judges act as triers
A trial without a jury (in which both
questions of fact and questions of law are
decided by a judge) is known as a bench trial.
Serving on a jury is normally compulsory for
those individuals who are qualified for jury
Since a jury is intended to be an impartial
panel capable of reaching a verdict, there are
often procedures and requirements, for
instance, fluent understanding of the
language, or the ability to test jurors or
otherwise exclude jurors who might be
perceived as less than neutral or more partial
to hear one side or the other.
You may be one of many people who have
been chosen for jury service.
A jury consists of 12 members of the public
selected at random.
Jurors usually try the more serious criminal
cases such as murder, rape, assault, burglary
These trials take place in the Crown Court.
Receiving a jury summons means you are
legally required to attend court. Please do not
be worried about this, most people overcome
their initial concern and find jury service
interesting and rewarding.
Jury service is one of the most important civic
duties that anyone can be asked to perform.
As a juror, you have a chance to play a vital
part in the legal system. You do not need any
knowledge of the legal system. Each
individual juror will be asked to consider the
evidence presented and then decide whether
the defendant is guilty or not guilty.
As a juror you would normally be asked to serve
for a period of ten working days and during that
time you could sit on more than one case.
If a trial takes longer, the jury is expected to sit
for the whole of the trial, however you will be
told about the length of the trial at the start.
If there are any exceptional circumstances which
prevent you from serving for a longer period of
time you will need to tell the court before sitting
on the jury panel.
Sometimes jurors are needed in civil trials for
cases such as libel. This does not happen
often. When it does, the trial will take place in
the High Court or a county court. Sometimes
jurors are also needed for Coroner’s courts.
A juror in a civil case or coroner’s case will
have a similar role to a juror in a criminal
case but there are some important
differences. These will be explained to you if
you become a juror for these specific trials
Apart from the Crown court where might you
appear as a juror?
How many in a Jury?
Will you have to do jury service?