Who can serve on jury?
To be qualified to serve on a jury, you must:
- be 18 years of age or older. There's no upper age limit for serving on a jury, but you can be excused from jury service if you're 71 years of age or older and you don't want to serve on a jury
- be on the electoral register
- have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least five years since the age of 13
- not be on the list of people who are disqualified or ineligible. The list of disqualified or ineligible people includes staff of the court service, police and anyone with a criminal conviction which is not yet spent.
Why/ how have I been picked for jury service?
Jurors are selected at random from the electoral register so basically, your name just came out of the hat! Some people are called several times during their lives, while others don’t get called at all.
I thought students were exempt?
Students are not automatically exempt from jury service, but you can ask to be excused.
How do I ask to be excused?
Fill in Part 1 of the "Application for Exemption or Excusal from Jury Service" form with your details, and then enter the reason you are asking for excusal within box E (titled “Applications for excusal due to other special reasons”).
It is a good idea when asking to be excused to give any other supporting information e.g. medical circumstances, approaching exams or deadlines, or final year pressures, and you will need to include evidence of this such as a letter from your GP or Adviser of Studies.
Will I definitely be excused?
No. Excusal is discretionary, but you can appeal if your request is refused.
I’d quite like to do jury duty, but can’t do it now. Will I get another chance?
If you want to delay your jury service rather than be excused, you can ask for a deferral.
Jury service can be deferred once, for up to a maximum of 12 months from the original date. For example, if you had a holiday booked and paid for, you could ask for it to be deferred until you returned; or a student summoned for jury service could ask for it to be deferred until after the exams.
If you are asking for deferral, you should provide all the dates for the next 12 months when you would be unavailable for jury service.
As with being excused, deferral is discretionary, but there is a right of appeal against refusal.
How long would it last?
It is of course very difficult to know this! However, advance written notice should be given for trials expected to last more than 1 week.
I have other questions, where can I find out more?
There is information on jury service on the Scotcourts website:
Coming to Court – Jurors
FAQs about jury service
Alternatively, contact the Advice Centre for more information.