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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Serving as a juror: what happens in court

​If you are chosen for jury service, you may find it useful to know what is expected of you in your role as juror, as well as what you can expect in court.

The jury is empanelled

  • the potential jurors will be led into court together by the Viscount’s Officer and will sit at the back of the court
  • if your name is called, walk to the front of the court and take your seat as directed by the Viscount’s Officer
  • when 12 potential jurors are seated, advocates may challenge the choice of you as a juror. You will then be excused from serving on the jury and will be asked to return to your seat at the back of the court. If you have not been challenged, the Judge (who will be the Bailiff, Deputy Bailiff or a Commissioner appointed by the Bailiff) will ask you to read a document and inform him if any of those named in it are known to you personally.  If you are then excused from acting as a juror, another potential juror will be called from the back of the court
  • the jury will be asked to stand and will be sworn in. You may affirm instead of taking the oath, if you wish:  raise your hand to indicate that you need to alert the Judge before the oath is administered
  • the Judge will nominate a juror as foreman and that person will be shown to his or her seat
  • the witnesses are then called and stand at the front of the court. After they have been sworn in, the court arranges for their further attendance
  • potential jurors who have not been called for jury service will be released and may leave the court

The trial then begins

  • the prosecution has brought the case to court and must prove its case. You will hear about the prosecution case first.  The prosecution will tell you the case against the accused and what it intends to prove. The prosecution will then call witnesses to give evidence
  • when this evidence has been given, the defence may put its case
  • when all the evidence has been given, the prosecution and defence advocates may make closing speeches. They will talk directly to the jury about the case
  • the Judge will sum up the facts of the trial, tell you the law which applies to the case, and tell you your duties as a juror.  The function of the jury is to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused

General points

  • if you cannot hear or you feel ill, notify the foreman and he or she will draw the matter to the Judge’s attention at once
  • if you have any questions or problems, raise them with the foreman and he or she will take advice from a Viscount’s Officer about raising questions with the Judge or dealing with any problems
  • stressful evidence:  jurors may hear or see upsetting evidence. Contact a Viscount’s Officer if support is required after the trial

Warning

  • it is a criminal offence to talk to anyone about the case except other members of the jury and the court
  • if anyone approaches you to discuss the case, advise a Viscount's Officer at once

Download photograph of the Royal Court (size 85kb) 

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