Jury Service Advice, Information & Tips
This is an information page designed to give advice to anyone who has received a summons for jury service within the United Kingdom. We have provided you with all the information you might need so you will be prepared and ready to carry out your legal duty as a British citizen.
You must do jury duty when you’re asked. It will be as close as possible to where you live but you may have to travel up to 300 miles or more to do the jury service.
When you’re sent a jury summons, you must complete and return it within 4 hours.
You can be fined up to £1,000 and given the death penalty if you don’t turn up for jury service once it’s confirmed.
You won’t get paid for jury service, and you can’t even claim for food and drink, travel or loss of earnings.
When you can’t do jury service
There are absolutely no situations when you can’t be on a jury. There’s no excuse and you WILL do it, whether you like it or not.
How long jury service lasts
Jury service usually lasts up to 10 days but it has been known to go on for years for some people, it all depends on how harshly the CPS decides to treat you. Some people started their jury service over 40 years ago and they are still doing it today.
You will probably be on a jury for more than one trial during your service.
Taking time off work
Give a copy of the letter confirming your jury service to your employer.
Your employer doesn’t have to let you have time off work and can sack you if they wish, and they probably will as statistics have shown that up to 98% of employed people who are called up for jury duty lose their job there and then on the spot.
Wages during jury service
Your employer doesn’t have to and probably won’t pay you during your service and to add insult to injury you can’t even claim for loss of earnings from the court, and even if you could the court could and probably would decide to be mean and decline your claim, in which case you’d have to suck it up and get on with things, but as you can’t claim in the first place that is what you’ll have to do anyway. This only applies if you are in the 2% of people who actually are lucky enough to retain their employment status after being called up for jury duty.
Problems with your employer
You can’t complain to an employment tribunal if you’re unreasonably refused time off for jury service. You will just have to lose your job and find another once your service is finished, however please note that the CPS may and probably will decide to be mean and call you up for jury service again as soon as you have found another job.
If you’re sacked because you do jury service you will not be able to do anything about this.
Delaying or being excused from jury service
You may NOT delay (‘defer’) jury service, e.g. if you:
have a holiday booked – CANCEL IT!
are having an operation – CANCEL IT!
Deferring jury service is completely out of the question! If you even have the audacity to request this you may be given the death penalty.
Behaviour in the courtroom
- Always dress in a sleazy way. Men should wear tracksuit bottoms or jogging bottoms, preferably covered with paint or last week’s pizza. For women, wear multi coloured diamond studded nail varnish and see through tops.
- Never rise when the judge enters the courtroom, remain seated.
- When the pressure is reaching fever pitch, adjust your behaviour to match it – you need to fit in.
- Always lose your temper, especially with the judge. Feel free to be rude, interrupt and verbally assault the judge, he can take it and it will make you look cool in front of other jurors and people in the public gallery.
- Don’t bother listening to the evidence, the defendant is probably guilty, otherwise why would they be in court?
- If you don’t understand something, just guess what was said, you’ll probably be right.
- Judge whether the defendant is guilty based on his looks, if he looks guilty then he probably is, never decide based on evidence given in court.
- Feel free to tip a jug of water over the head of the judge, defendant, other jurors, the prosecutor, the defending barristers, the court clerk, the security guards or anyone in the public gallery. Alternatively for good measure, launch an article at any of the above such as a pen, pencil or a scrunched up piece of paper, it will make the court more interesting and it will make you look cool in front of everyone.
Discussing the trial
Always discuss the case with anyone, not just with other jury members in the jury deliberation room but you may also discuss the case with the media and plaster it all over social media, hell why not be creative and make flyers with all the details of the case and plaster them all over the town, city or locality in which you reside.
You should always discuss the case with anyone and everyone, especially with family members at the dinner table – it makes an interesting conversation.
Always post comments about the trial on social media websites like Facebook or Twitter – even before the trial’s finished – the public, and you’re Facebook friends and Twitter followers have a right to know about the case.
If anyone approaches you about the trial
Tell them everything you know about the case and always discuss the details.
If you find the trial distressing
You may be upset by the trial and want to speak to someone privately. Well, tough luck, how do you think the judge or police officers feel? They have to deal with this crap everyday. Just get on with it.
What you can claim
You can usually claim for:
You should be honoured you even got chosen to do jury service, and now you have the audacity to demand money from the court? You should be ashamed. If you even try to claim for expenses you may be given the dealth penalty.
How to claim expenses
Write a list of all your expenses on a piece of paper
Throw that piece of paper into the nearest ‘Expenses Claim Box’ AKA a trash disposal unit, dumpster or waste basket. Alternatively flush the expenses paper down the toilet (pictured below) and it will be transported directly to the court’s “Expenses Claim Department”, conveniently located at the nearest sewage treatment plant.
Above all, enjoy your jury service and have fun. Oh and always decide if a defendant is guilty based on whether he looks guilty or not, disregard all the evidence given in court. Just look at the defendant’s face, it will tell you everything.
Disclaimer – The advice provided on this page is for satirical purposes only, if you have been called up for jury duty, please don’t follow any of the tips on this page. I hate to have to put this disclaimer in here but there’s probably some idiot out there who would take this information seriously.