Attending jury service

This page answers the most common questions about what happens when you attend for jury service.

If you have received a jury summons and need to check whether you are required to attend go to the Am I required tomorrow? page. That page is updated every weekday after 4.30pm with information for the following day.

Once you have confirmed that you are required for jury service, there are a few things you should do to prepare:

  • Inform your employer that you are required for jury service and may have to serve on a jury (you can direct them to our Employers page if they have questions);
  • Allow plenty of time to get to court and find the jury pool room. For Melbourne jurors, we recommend public transport as there is no parking provided;
  • On the day, wear neat, casual clothing, in keeping with the court environment;
  • Bring your lunch or money to buy lunch;
  • Bring your jury summons letter and a form of photo ID.

When you come in for jury service, we will give you a copy of the Juror's Handbook. This booklet contains a lot of information about how courts and trials work, and what is expected of you as a juror. You can also download the Juror's Handbook from this website. A link is available on the left-hand side of this page.

How long will I be needed?

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In most cases, you will only be needed for one or two days, unless you are selected as a juror on a trial. 

If selected for a trial you must attend each day until the trial is completed. The trial will begin immediately. The average length of a trial is 7-10 business days, although some can be longer.

What if I do not attend?

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Failing to attend jury service is a criminal offence. If you are required to attend for jury service, and do not attend you could be fined up to $3,000 or face 3 months imprisonment. If there is a good reason why you cannot attend jury service, you can apply to be excused. However, you need to do this before your summons date. For more information, see the Received a jury summons? page.

Can jury service put my job at risk?

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The law protects people who attend jury service. By law, your employer must release you for jury service. They cannot dismiss, threaten or prejudice you in any way for being absent from work because of jury service.

Will I be paid for jury service?

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Jury payments are currently $40.00 per day for the first six days, and $80.00 per day thereafter. When your jury service is finished, you will be paid by cheque (issued to you, not your employer). You will also get a certificate stating the day or days you attended and the amount you were paid. 

If you are on a jury for a trial that is longer than 10 days, you will be issued a cheque once a week for the duration of the trial.

Will I lose pay from my job while I attend jury service?

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By law, employers must pay employees who are on jury service the difference between what they receive in jury payments and what they would reasonably expect to earn had they not attended for jury service.

This applies to:

  • full time employees;
  • part time employees;
  • casual employees (in most cases).  If you are a casual employee, please call the Juries Commissioner's Office to discuss your circumstances.

This legal requirement does not apply to independent contractors.

In Victoria, the make-up pay provision of the Juries Act 2000 (Vic) has no limitation and, as such, an employer is required to continue to make up the pay of an employee for as long as that employee is on jury duty. The Juries Act 2000 (Vic) supersedes the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and any Enterprise Bargaining Agreements.

You should discuss make up pay with your employer prior to attending jury service. Direct them to the Employers page if they have any questions.

What are the hours for jury service?

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On the first day, you must be at court by the time stated on your jury summons.  This is usually 9.15am. You can usually leave by 4.15pm. You will get a lunch break of about an hour.

If you are selected as a juror, the hours of attendance are approximately 10am to 4:15pm Monday to Friday. The judge may change these times depending on the needs of the trial.

What should I bring?

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As well as your jury summons letter and photo ID, you may also bring things to keep you occupied while in the jury pool room (such as a book, tablet or laptop). In Melbourne, lockers are supplied.

What should I not bring?

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Much like an airport, everybody entering court buildings must be screened for prohibited items.  Below is a list, not exhaustive, of items you must not bring with you to court:

  • knives (pocket or other);
  • metal cutlery;
  • metal nail files;
  • scissors;
  • knitting needles;
  • glass and ceramic containers, OR
  • any sharp items.

If you attend court with prohibited items they will be confiscated and may not be returned.
If you have a medical condition and have been advised not to pass through strong electromagnetic fields, tell the court security staff.

Will I be able to go home each night?

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Jurors serving on a trial go home at night.

The only exception is when a judge decides that the jury must be kept together during the deliberation process -- that is, while reaching a verdict. This occurs very rarely however if required you will be given plenty of notice and provided with overnight accommodation.

Can I park at the courts?

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Melbourne courts: It is recommended that you catch public transport.  The Juries Commissioner's Office is only a short walk from many bus and tram stops (the closest train station is Flagstaff). Car parking and bicycle storage is not provided for jurors, although public bike racks may be available outside the court house (bikes left at the bike racks are left there at the owners risk). 

The Juries Commissioner's Office does not pay parking fees or parking fines.

Regional courts: Parking may be available close to most regional courts. However, it's best to phone in advance to confirm availability.

Can I get my travel costs back?

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Melbourne courts: Jurors for Melbourne courts are not reimbursed for travel costs.

Regional courts:  Jurors summoned to a regional court who need to travel more than 8km to the court are issued a travel allowance. Mileage is paid for each kilometre over the first 8km and is only paid one way.

This page was last updated: Monday 3 November 2014 - 11:20am