Jury Service

Information, advice and tips regarding your jury service

Top Tips For The Jury Room

The judge will give you clear instructions about what is expected of you as a  jury but you can find below a few tips below which might make things easier.

Never Hold An Open Vote

This may seem a bit obscure but this would be one my top pieces of advice when you retire for deliberation in the jury room: Never hold an open vote, show of hands or similar. This is especially true when you first enter the jury room as it’s tempting to have a quick vote to see if everyone agrees.

The problem with an open vote of any kind is jurors are stating their position publicly and it’s then much harder to change their position without ‘losing face’, for example if another juror points out some item of evidence that had been missed.

The Judge Is Not ‘Giving You a Hint’

The judge will have given the jury a summing up of the evidence and the charge that is being made. The judge will not give you any hints so don’t try to read anything into the information given to you.

Beware Forceful Personalities In The Jury

Given the variety of people that can be selected for jury service, it is very likely that you will get one or more forceful personalities in the jury with you, who may try to persuade other jurors to go along with their viewpoint. Listen to everyone’s opinion, but try to focus on the evidence and the points they are making about that

Not Everyone Is As Honest As The Jury

Given the percentage of criminals in the community and that certainly in England, if someone has been in prison within the last 10 years they are not allowed to serve as a juror, it is likely that all (or most) of the jury members are honest law-abiding citizens.

It is important to keep in mind that the defendant may not be as honest as you and your fellow jurors. Obviously they may be telling the truth and you should consider what they say very carefully, but you should at least keep in mind the possibility that the defendant may not be telling the truth



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