Who is Eligible for Jury Service?
To be considered for jury service you need to fulfil certain criteria.
If you are:
- Between 18 and 70 years of age
- On the electoral register
- Have lived in the UK for a period of at least 5 years since 13 years of age
Then you could be selected to serve on a jury.
There are certain people who cannot be included on a jury. These include:
- People who have served a prison or youth custody sentence of more than five years
- People who have been in prison or youth custody for any amount of time in the last ten years
- People who suffer from or used to suffer from a mental health condition or mental illness.
Currently, the upper age limit for a juror in England and Wales is 70 years old – anyone older than this is not eligible for Jury Service.
However, it was announced in August 2013 that this limit would be raised to 75, in order to reflect the increase in life expectancy in recent years. It is believed that allowing for older jurors will also cut the cost of compensating jurors for missing work.
The change is expected to be brought in 2014.
Jury service in Scotland no longer has an upper age limit – however, people over 70 can choose not to serve on the jury when they are. This is known as the “right to excusal”.
Being selected for Jury Service
You will be informed of your selection when you receive what is known as a jury summons, which will give details of what you have to do, such as the time and date at which you are required to serve, and at which court.
You must complete and return the ‘reply to the jury summons’ form within 7 days of receiving the summons.
If you think you should be excused from jury service for any of the reasons above, you must indicate this when you return your form. You may be fined if you serve on a jury in the knowledge that you should not be doing so.
If you want to know more about how you can be excused from jury service, visit our Jury Service Exemptions page.