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Participating in jury trials in Scotland: Remote Jury Centres

Update 23 May 2022

This page contains information for people who have been cited to attend as a Juror at a remote jury centre. If the citation you received asks you to attend in a courtroom 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. You should also refer to this guide which explains what it means to be called for jury service and what you can expect to happen.

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

Remote jury centres

Jury seats (2)


Jurors normally take their place in a jury box in a courtroom to participate in court proceedings. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic a separate remote jury centre was established, which makes sure that the jury can all physically distance while hearing evidence and taking part in deliberations about the case. 

Some jurors cited to appear for a High Court or Sheriff Court Solemn trial will continue to attend remote jury centres for the time being.  

Jurors view the trial proceedings live on screen with all other trial participants attending the courtroom.

remote jury centre cinema


These facilities have been specifically designed to provide a safe environment for jurors and support the administration of justice.

We have also developed three short films which are at the bottom of this page – one each for jurors, witnesses and practitioners – to help participants understand and adapt to jury trials with the jury at jury centres. These videos should be viewed noting the revised guidance coming to court  


 

Do I need to attend at the court?

If you are cited to attend a remote jury centre then you attend that location and you should not attend the court building.

 

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 the jury centre for the trial, with each jury being supported by a court officer. The Jury Information Sheet provides a fuller explanation for jurors on the process. 

 

For civil jury trials:

Balloting the jury is done on the first day of the trial at the jury centre. All cited civil jurors should attend at the jury centre for balloting. The jury will be supported by a court officer. The Jury Information Sheet for civil jurors provides a fuller explanation for jurors on the process – this document is sent to you with your citation.

 

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 ask to 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 of this, for example 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. Remote jury centres will be accessible for those with mobility impairment. They are sound-enhanced and some have the 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 clerk of court before you attend the court 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.

 

For jurors

 

For witnesses

 

For practitioners

 

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Respond to citation

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.

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