Date: 13 November 2016

Jury Duty Explained

best-jury1) A letter arrives – you’ll discover you’ve been selected through a letter arriving by post. Legitimate excuses include already having a holiday or operation booked, but you can only play that card once a year

2) First day nerves – on the Monday morning you’ll be checked by security and then shown to a room described as ‘Jurors only’. You’ll probably find at least 100 people here in the same situation as you, waiting to be randomly picked for a trial

3) Play the waiting game – until you are selected for a trial you could spend hours or even days in the waiting room. During this time you’ll be asked to watch a video explaining the court process and your role as a juror

4) You won’t lose out – as a juror you will be compensated for loss of earnings and you’ll even be given an allowance for lunch

 5) Selection – after what will no doubt seem like an age you will hear your name be announced along with 14 others. A further selection process will see three people drop out and the remaining 12 will be directed to sit down in any order on the seats provided

6) It begins – the trial will begin. It could last just a few hours, or many weeks. It’s highly unlikely to be something more high profile like a murder case but you will see the prosecution and defence will make their cases just like on TV. Don’t worry it’s the Judge’s job to instruct you at each stage on your role as a juror

7) Toilet humour – all jokes aside, you need to be organised. If you need to break to go to the toilet, the judge will have to adjourn the court, so try and go before at all costs!

 8) Deliberation – after the judge summarises the case, you will be led into the deliberation room to start making a decision. At this point a jury foreman will be selected to speak onnbehalf of the jury

9) The foreman – a jury foreman is a jury member who acts as the chairman and spokesperson for the jury. Their responsibilities include diffusing arguments, ensuring all jury members are present during deliberation and communicating with the judge on behalf of the jury

10) Remember, this is not a film – this is real life. Prepare yourself for the reaction of the defendant, their family and friends for example. It can be quite an upsetting experience so prepare yourself accordingly

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