It all begins with a jury summons popping through your letterbox. It is most certainly interesting and exciting to be a part of and isn’t something everybody get’s the chance to do! Don’t think of jury service as a chore, think of the whole process as a vitally important life experience!
Certain exceptions such as if you have a holiday already booked will avoid you having to attend, however this will only delay the summons and you will be required to attend at a later date.
Once you arrive at the court you will be security checked and directed to a ‘jurors only’ room where you will wait minutes, hours or even days to be selected for a trial. How you fill this time is up to you, bearing in mind it has to take place in the jurors room. You should take the opportunity to enjoy being able to converse with a wide cross section of society, or stare at your iPad endlessly to avoid exactly that!
You’ll receive a small lunch allowance (£5.71) per day for you to use at the Café or anywhere should you wish to venture outside for an hour at lunch. Any loss of earnings and travel expenses will be accounted for once you conclude your service.
Your name will be called out and you will be taken into a courtroom along with 14 others. A further selection process will take place reducing you down to a jury of 12. Along with a pen and paper you will take your seat and the trial will begin. Your trial could last hours, days or even weeks so be prepared. Regardless of the nature of your particular case prosecution and defense will make their cases while you take in all the evidence highlighted to you. The judge will occasionally talk directly to the jury and the clarke will walk you through every step of the process so there is no need to worry!
Once all evidence has been heard and the judge sums up the case you will be taken to the deliberation room. A foreman will be selected to direct the deliberation and also deliver the verdicts when you return to the courtroom. You’ll never quite experience anything else that feels like the moment your verdict is spoken to the courtroom.