Who is eligible for jury service?

Only people who meet certain requirements are considered for jury service.

You could be selected to serve on a jury if you:

  • will be aged at least 18, and less than 70, on the day jury service will start
  • are on a parliamentary or local electoral register
  • have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for a period of at least 5 years since 13 years of age

However, even if you meet these criteria, there are a number of reasons you might not be allowed to actually serve on a jury. Broadly speaking, a potential juror might be exempt if they:

  • have ever been sentenced to imprisonment for five years or more, or for an indefinite amount of time
  • have been subject to imprisonment or detention at all in the past 10 years, or received a suspended sentence or order for such
  • are suffering from a severe mental disorder or lacking mental capacity

See our page on jury service exemptions for full details.

Being selected for jury service

If you are selected for jury service, you will receive a letter known as a jury summons. This gives 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. Once you have been accepted for jury service and received a confirmation of this, you could be fined up to £1,000 if you fail to show up on the day.

There are a number of reasons to be excused from serving on a jury. These will be listed on the jury summons when you received it. If you believe you are exempt from being a juror, you must indicate this when you return your form. You could be fined up to £5,000 if you serve on a jury in the knowledge that you should not be doing so.