Wednesday, 20 May 2015

What Happens If You’re Selected For Jury Duty?

Some people go through life never getting the chance to experience it, while others end up doing it on more than one occasion. I’m talking about jury duty. It’s either something you can’t wait to do, or can’t bear the thought of. This blog from solicitor Glenn Duker briefly outlines what happens if you’re called up for jury duty in Victoria.

The summons

You’ll receive a letter from the Juries Commissioner requesting you appear for jury service on a specific date at a specific time. We suggest you mark the date off in your calendar, whether it’s on your fridge or your phone, alert your employer to the fact that you might be required on that day, and keep the letter in a safe place. You’ll need to refer to it the afternoon before your nominated day comes around. After 16:30 the day before you can call the number on the letter or visit the website to see if you will actually be required the next morning. You might find that your jury duty requirements have been deferred or even cancelled.

Jury selection day

If you are required the next morning, you’ll congregate with other members of the jury pool where you wait to see if you are selected in the jury ballot. If chosen, you’ll be taken to the courtroom. If not, you might be selected for another case that day. Those who are taken to the courtroom are provided with all the essential information of the trial.

It is at this point that jurors can apply to be excused from the trial. Only legitimately good reasons are considered, such as being related to someone involved in the case. The jury is then selected, with 12-15 appearing for a criminal trial and 6-8 for a civil trial. However, even at this stage there is no guarantee you’ll remain on the jury. A defence or prosecution lawyer can request that particular jurors be stood aside from the case without needing to give a reason. That juror is then no longer required. 

If you get through unchallenged and end up sitting on the jury you will be made to take an oath that you will take your obligation seriously. If you’re stood down from one case, you might be picked up for the next.
Lawyer Glenn Duker specialises in a wide range of fields including litigation, conveyancing and employment law among many others. If you wish to seek his legal expertise in Melbourne do not hesitate to make an appointment.

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