Jury selection process

There are several steps in selecting jurors to serve on a trial. When you attend for jury service, the steps will be explained to you in detail. Below, the steps involved in the selection process are briefly explained.

Jury ballot

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Before each trial begins, a panel of people are chosen at random from the jury pool and taken to the courtroom.

Arriving in the courtroom

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The judge will provide the following information to the jury panel:

  • The length of the trial;
  • The name of the accused/parties;
  • The nature of the charges/dispute;
  • The names of the witnesses to be called;
  • The names of all other involved in the trial (judge, staff, lawyers etc).

You will then be given the opportunity to be excused from the trial.

Asking to be excused

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If you have a good reason why you should not be on the jury in a particular trial, you will have an opportunity to apply to the judge to be excused from that trial.

Empanelling the jury

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The judge and his or her staff oversee the jury empanelment process. Names are chosen at random from the jury panel until 12-15 jurors are selected in a criminal trial, or 6-8 jurors in a civil trial. There are slightly different processes for criminal and civil trials.

Challenges

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The parties involved in the trial (prosecution and defence) have the right to challenge or stand aside jurors- the option to exclude people from the jury without giving a reason.

There is no need to feel embarrassed or offended if you are challenged.

Taking an oath or affirmation

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If selected for the jury, you will be asked to take an oath or affirmation that you will carry out your task faithfully. An oath or affirmation must be taken seriously.

If you are not selected

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If you are not selected to sit on the jury for a particular trial, you will be taken back to the jury pool room where you may be required for another trial. 

If you are not selected for a jury by the end of the day, in most instances your jury service will be complete. Sometimes you may have to come back the next day.

This page was last updated: Wednesday 27 April 2016 - 2:22pm