You do not need special knowledge or abilities to act as a juror. You will be asked to use your sense of judgement and fairness to decide the facts of a case. The judge in the case will explain everything else you need to know regarding the law.
Jury Service exists to protect an individual's rights and to involve the public in the administration of justice. With a few exceptions, anyone charged with a serious criminal offence can choose a jury trial. Some civil cases are also tried with juries (such as defamation or personal injury cases).
Your participation in jury service should be a positive experience. You’ll make key decisions: in criminal matters, you’ll decide if a person is guilty or not guilty; in civil matters, you’ll decide who is at fault.
During a trial, you will go home each evening and you should not discuss the case, or jury deliberations, with any person, on social media or on any other platform.
The 12 members of the jury should elect a foreperson, who will speak for them and present the written verdict. They will conduct deliberations in a jury room, where no outside communication is allowed.
You may take notes if you wish but there is no need to write everything down as the judge will summarise the evidence for you at the end of the case. Jurors may also pass notes to the foreperson of the jury to ask the judge to explain certain aspects of the case.
Once the trial is complete, the jury must reach its verdict by considering only the evidence introduced in court and the directions of the judge. It follows the directions of the judge as regards legal matters.
When the jury has reached its decision, it will return to the court and the verdict will be read out.
The jury has no role in sentencing. That decision is left up to the judge.