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Participating in jury trials in Scotland: Attending a courtroom

Update 23 May 2022

This page contains information for people who have been cited to attend as a Juror in a court room. If the citation you received asks you to attend a remote jury centre please click on this link

This page provides detailed information to support potential jurors. If you have been cited to attend as a juror please take time to read this page and continue to check back here from time to time for any updates.

After 5pm the day before you have been cited to attend, you should call the jury attendance update line number provided in your Jury citation. 

It is important that you call this number as it will provide you with up to date information about your jury service.  You may be asked to call the jury attendance update number several times throughout the week, so you should listen carefully to the message.

 

Information on jury service and qualification

Jurors continue to be selected at random from the electoral register. In order to preserve the random nature of citation, names are selected electronically from information supplied from the electoral registers. This means an individual may be selected on multiple occasions or not at all for a lengthy period, or that several people from one employer are cited simultaneously. It should be noted that, depending on circumstances, if you are excused from serving on a particular occasion, this may result in another citation being received within a relatively short timescale.

Balloting of Jurors

For criminal trials:

Balloting the jury is done in advance without the jurors being present. Only the 15 jurors balloted to participate, plus a small number of substitutes, will attend for the trial, with each jury being supported by a court officer.

For civil jury trials:

Balloting the jury is done on the first day of the trial . All cited civil jurors should attend the court for balloting. The jury will be supported by a court officer. 

 

However, you should still contact the jury helpline, provided on your citation, by telephone after 5pm the day before your citation commences.

 

Guides to jury service

These guides will provide you with helpful information including details on preparing for jury service, what to expect at court, the role of the judge and the jury, how the trial will proceed and a glossary of terms.

 

Eligibility and excusal from Jury service

If you feel your particular circumstances may merit excusal from service, you should review the information provided below and in our Guide to Eligibility and Excusal.

This guide also provides details about those people who are not qualified for jury service, disqualified from jury service or ineligible for jury service. 

It is an offence to serve on a jury knowing that you fall into any of these three categories.

The guide sets out who is entitled to request the court to be excused from jury service, as this is possible in certain, specific circumstances. If you wish to apply for excusal on the basis of ill-health (COVID-19 or non-COVID-19) or physical disability, then you must enclose a medical certificate along with your application for excusal. This can normally be obtained free of charge from your GP. 

If you wish to apply for excusal due to another special reason, for example commitments at work, cancellation of which would cause abnormal inconvenience either to yourself or others, or holiday plans which would be difficult or expensive to rearrange, you should complete the relevant sections of the application. You must also provide evidence to support your request, for example a holiday booking confirmation or letter from your employer. Applications for excusals are dealt with sympathetically by the courts, however, it must be understood that in some circumstances, the court may not be able to excuse individuals.

For more information, please make contact through the telephone number provided with your citation.

 

Accessibility

If you are disabled, or have accessibility or support requirements, please contact the court on receipt of your citation to discuss what arrangements can be made for you. In most courthouses there will also be access for those with mobility impairment. Courtrooms generally are sound-enhanced and some have the Baker Sound Induction Loop (SIL) or Phonic Ear System fitted for the benefit of those with hearing difficulties.

If you feel that, due to illness or disability, you could not follow the evidence, you should inform the court before the date stated on your jury citation by completing the application for exemption or excusal from jury service. You must also provide a medical certificate. If your doctor considers your condition is long term or unlikely to change, please ask your doctor to include this information in your medical certificate.

Medical certificates which are requested from GPs for the purpose of jury service are exempt from payment. This is in terms of The National Health Service (General Medical Services Contracts) (Scotland) Regulations 2018. You should therefore tell the GP surgery of the purpose of the certificate and if you have any difficulty in getting the certificate free of charge you should refer the surgery to the above regulations.

 

 

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Reminder for jurors

Remember to phone the Jurors' attendance update line the evening before you attend court as instructed on your citation.

Contact Information

If you have any queries relating to jury service, you should contact the court which has cited you. Details can be found in your citation pack or use the search below.

Find and contact your court