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  • Jury Service – What to expect?
  • ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    The only travel expenses they would pay were public transport, (not town centre parking) with receipts etc, no car mileage – there’s no direct public transport from where I lived to Guildford, so I ended up just driving to Park’n’Ride (free parking) and paying £2 bus fare.

    go take that to the “car brain” thread, show how the progressive and forward thinking court system assumes everyone is easily able to get to the centre of their nearest city by public transport for 9am.

    Free Member

    Can you claim hardship as a reason not to go?

    Yes. I emailed them and said I couldn’t afford to lose out on my wages and to live on what might be £33 ish (I think) a day (subject to the time you spend there) for two weeks. I said I wasn’t prepared to endure financial hardship to do jury service and cannot be expected to do so. There was no resistance to this, just an email back confirming I’d been excused. Doubt I’ll get another call up but if I do I’ll say the same thing again and won’t be doing it.

    The thing is you don’t know what you can claim until you do it so its a complete unknown and its not as if you can plan for the potential £ losses.
    Like I said, I’m amazed people swallow this crap and willingly go along and do it. I guess some people want to do it and would probably even pay for the privilege. Personally I’d rather sh*t in my hands and clap. Got better things to do with my time.

    Free Member

    Lots of waiting around, cancellations, poor administration, time wasting and confusion


    We had a trial, sat through the entire case an were in deliberation on verdict.

    Mistrial declared after one jury hadn’t locked his latop away as instructed. Same guy who had been telling the rest of us how it all worked, prize bellend

    Free Member

    Doubt I’ll get another call up but if I do I’ll say the same thing again and won’t be doing it.

    If my experience is anything to go by you can defer once but not a second time. I think it might depend on whether you were actually excused or whether it was a deferment.
    The reasons accepted to be excused are limited, and financial hardship doesn’t seem to be one of the options

    Full Member

    Regarding books, would a tablet with Kindle be OK or do they get funny about such modern tech?
    I guess I could handle the waiting around with a few good books and STW for company!

    As I mentioned above both courts I did JS I took my laptop, ipad and kindle and mainly just worked.

    My employer covered me but only guaranteed for 2 weeks so I was worried about getting a long case.  Loss of earnings would nowhere near have covered my outgoings.  People in the waiting room were split into 2 camps, those seeing out the wait in the hope they got sent home early, and those desperate to get involved (mainly people without any concerns about loss of earnings).

    Full Member

    Interested to know what people who have any commitment that isn’t work, during the day monday to friday?

    If I had a scheduled surgery, or a booked holiday in march, and I got called up next week, would I be kept away from anything that had the potential to run longer than a month?

    Free Member

    Flannol – not necessarily any better for the employee – many employers won’t pay you on jury duty and many treat you like you’ve been on holiday!  As a self employed person you can insure against loss of earnings for Jury Duty – do you think if the state offered to cover your true losses you would not have to pay more in NI to cover this?

    macruissiken – I can see what you are suggesting, but those video links were two way.  The legal teams and judge can see if you are paying attention / nodding off etc.  it’s much easier to read the audience if you can see them in real time so know if you’ve made your point or need to ask the question again.  Whilst the jury can’t ask questions, they can alert the judge if they can’t hear or perhaps understand a witness.    Apparently all parties were keen to get people back in court rooms and believed it was fairer, perhaps seeing the accused in the flesh helps you believe their defence or it’s more obvious if the witness is constantly looking to the accused or public gallery for confirmation what to say, or the judge / lawyers / jury minders get a better idea if the jury is taking it seriously.

    funkydunk – unlikely that the defence barrister would be getting paid better than the prosecutor.  They did probably see the file before they got to the court room though whereas prosecutors often just get handed the file on the day and left to make the best of it.  Remember though that the state has effectively infinitely more resources than any individual so if they are turning up ill prepared that is a choice made by a politician somewhere to prioritize something else.

    Full Member

    I did it about 10 years ago at Crown Court. Jury were kept in a separate part of the building to everyone else. Own canteen etc.

    I took my work laptop and phone and did some work when waiting to be selected. Seemed fair enough as work paid me my full time wage.

    Lots of waiting and getting bored. Could go out for lunch and claim it back if you wanted to. Seemed a reasonable amount back then, would get you a meal deal easily.

    Had two interesting cases, one drugs and one ABH.

    Organisation was a bit poor but people working there were nice enough.

    Free Member

    Razorazzo – electronics are fine.  Wifi may be dodgy if at all. Obviously not for use during the evidence or deliberations but lunch/waiting etc.

    ajw – they will take into account stuff you have arranged especially if you back it up with evidence (and it was arranged before they contacted you), but if they “excuse” you will usually move the date/add you to top of the next set to be called rather than let you off completely.  Ultimately a judge can decide if you merit excusal (or if you would be in contempt to fail to serve on a jury).  Judges tolerance will be higher for say a medical reason than you having a hair appointment! (Re public transport – here the jury are not normally required till 10am – which allows the lawyers to lawyer or judge to deal with non jury business before the case starts).

    Full Member

    Yeah good point. 10am start so got a ride in before heading into court. Helped that I worked in the same City as the court so they paid for my train fare for a week 😀

    Full Member

    While I have sympathy for loss of wages, I think this is one of the few civic duties we are expected to actually take time out of ‘life’ to undertake. Our society and justice system relies on it, we don’t do it very often, and they are very sympathetic of self employed folk in my (limited) experience.

    Actually I’m with moab, especially if they are sympathetic to self employed folks.  I’ve read the other comments on this and understand but I think I would still be willing to take the hit.  Civil society is a funny thing.  I’m also up for paying higher taxes for a better funded police and prosecution/state defence of course but that’s another matter

    Free Member

    Colleague of mine served on a fairly major one recently.

    Organised crime case. The whole jury were excused from ever serving again afterwards went on for months…

    Free Member

    I got the delights of Edinburgh Sheriff court last year, having managed to get an excusal the year before (there was a potential for the dates to overrun into a major event that I was deemed a key member of the team at), however I had no real reason to avoid it last year.

    Scotland runs a lottery system for selecting jurors. You call the night before, and there’s a recorded message to let you know what you need to do the next day. First day it was simply to call again the next evening. Second day it was to make sure you’re available to take a call the following day. I then got a call before lunch to say I was in the lottery for the following day, and if I didn’t receive another call before 4PM, to call as normal in the evening again. I got the call just after 4, saying I had to be in court the next morning.
    Then there is a final selection done on the morning you attend. Here they call 20 jurors, 5 of which are reserve. They read out the charge, and ask if anybody has any reason that would prevent them from being an impartial juror, to step outside and give their reason.
    Despite a stampede out the door, only two got excused.

    Then once in court, the Sherriff asked if anybody had a reason that would cause them extreme inconvenience or hardship to sit on the trial. She was very clear it had to be an extreme reason. Just because it might cost you some lost income, or inconvenience you having to get into town everyday was not a valid reason, but if you were a carer to someone, or lived a long way from town, she would consider excusing you, but also mentioned you should have requested an excusal on those grounds before even turning up.

    Other than the amount of time spent sitting around waiting to go in to court, I found it quite interesting. At the end of the case, the Sherriff did explain the reasons behind some of the delays.

    The whole case gave an insight in to a section of society that is just f****d up.
    Prosecution I think was just fresh out of uni, and done more to help the defence than they did the prosecution.
    The ‘victim’ was most definitely on drugs when giving evidence, and contradicted their written statement multiple times.
    One of the prosecution witnesses done more to help the defence than the prosecution.
    The accused was the only one who seemed to have their story straight.

    Free Member

    Are the summons letters recorded. I’ve never been summoned (touch wood) but at same time I never bother opening most of my unsolicited mail, it just goes in the bin. Unless it’s clearly marked by someone like the dvla, if I’m not expecting it I just treat it as junk

    If they are not, then I guess if you don’t want to do it, then you just ignore it. I’d be surprised if they had the resources to chase it up. I expect the threat of possible fines is enough for most “normal” people to be cajoled into turning up.
    I suppose if you didn’t want to be involved in a certain case you could just say you know the defendant 😉

    Free Member

    Prosecution I think was just fresh out of uni, and done more to help the defence than they did the prosecution.

    wont have been “fresh” out of uni prosecuting a solemn case, but sounds like they did their job right – contrary to TV the prosecutors job is not to secure a conviction at all costs.

    Free Member

    If they are not, then I guess if you don’t want to do it, then you just ignore it.

    they are usually clearly marked as from the court so not easily ignored as junk mail.  If you “never received” it then I think you will likely end up on the list in the next cycle.

    I’d be surprised if they had the resources to chase it up. I expect the threat of possible fines is enough for most “normal” people to be cajoled into turning up.

    if you consistently “never receive” it you might find someone goes to the effort of following up.  It is probably not a requirement for service that it is sent recorded.  The list used is the full electoral register (updated annually?) so if you are ignoring multiple citations but renewing your electoral registration you may trigger the court admin staff to look further.  If you are John Smith from Massive Flats on Huge Rd then you might not be memorable enough to stand out.  If you are Rupert Parker-Jones from Luxury St your failure to respond multiple times might be more memorable!

    I suppose if you didn’t want to be involved in a certain case you could just say you know the defendant 😉

    That may not be a smart idea – the consequences of contempt are significant.  If for example you were a survivor of child abuse and it was a child abuse case I think most judges would have a sympathetic ear to any trauma it may cause you. Judges make examples of Jurors who play silly beggars to deter others.

    Free Member

    If my experience is anything to go by you can defer once but not a second time.

    I’ve deferred twice.

    Once I was in Australia on long term work.

    Second time I was in Angola on the dates. – she was quite insistent I couldn’t defer a second time – I also think she didn’t quite have a grasp of where Angola was – ” we pay travel expenses you know” ….” Yes it’s about 1500 quid for a flight home from here”

    The third time I had no such reason so went……after about the third day I wished I was back in Africa. – other than that they summonsed me and my equal/cover at work to the same court on the same day…….(un) fortunately he won the lottery of not actually getting called up 🙁

    Full Member

    I’ve only done jury service at coroners court but apart from being rather grim sounds like a lot better experience than any other court. In the end the whole thing was abandoned as the coroner got COVID midway & I got a few days of riding my motorbike in North Wales instead.

    Full Member

    I was called a few years ago. If it is a case that is going to be a long one, they will ask if there are any reasons why you would be unable to sit beyond the normal period of jury service. For the first week, I wasn’t selected for any trials, so turned up Monday to Wednesday, then was told to come back on the following Monday. At this point, I was selected for a trial. It was a pretty horrible case which lasted two weeks. As others have said, the organisation/admin wasn’t great. However, the nature of the trial meant that the judge was very senior and experienced. He really impressed me in how he managed the trial and how he treated the jurors. He didn’t fit the old buffer stereotype. It was interesting to be involved, but I wouldn’t like to listen to the same type of evidence again.

Viewing 19 posts - 41 through 59 (of 59 total)

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