Who Can Be Called For Jury Service?

Who Can Be Called For Jury Service?

You are eligible for jury service if you are:

  • a citizen whose name is entered on the Register of Electors (the official list of voters for Dáil Éireann elections) at the address shown on the Jury Summons, and
  • 18 years of age or over, and
  • not entitled to an exemption.

Who is exempt from jury service?

Certain categories of people are exempt from jury service for various reasons. This means that they don’t have to serve on a jury. Exemptions fall into three main categories:

Not eligible: Some people are not eligible to be called for service because their jobs are too closely connected with the justice system. These include practising barristers or solicitors, prison officers and staff or people employed in forensics labs. People with disabilities might also be exempt, depending on the nature of their disability. This could include being unable to read or having an ongoing impairment or disability that makes it not possible for them to perform the duties of a juror.

Disqualified: People are disqualified from serving because of current or past criminal convictions.

‘Excused as of right’ (not an automatic exemption): This category of exemption means that you are eligible to be called for jury service, but you can ask to be excused because of your circumstances. Reasons can include being over 65 years of age, a medical practitioner, full-time student or have served on a jury in the previous three years and have been excused from serving by a judge.

I am not exempt. Can I still apply to be excused?

Yes. You can apply to be excused from jury service even If you do not fall into any of the exempt categories. The relevant County Registrar will consider your request. They may excuse you if you show, to their satisfaction, that there is a good reason why you should be excused. Examples might include being self-employed, childcare, or medical reasons.

Find out more here about asking for an exemption and what documents to send.

The following lists set out the exemptions in different categories.

The following people are not eligible:

  • Uachtarán na hÉireann – the President of Ireland
  • People who work in or are involved with the justice system. This includes:
    • judges,
    • coroners,
    • the Attorney General and members of their staff,
    • the Director of Public Prosecutions and members of their staff,
    • members of an Garda Síochána,
    • practising barristers and solicitors, legal staff, and Court Service employees,
    • prison officers, other prison staff, and people on visiting committees of prisons or places of detention,
    • Probation and Welfare Service employees,
    • people employed in forensic laboratories,
    • serving members of the Defence Forces, including the Army Nursing Service and the Reserve Defence Force,
    • people who are unable to read or who have an enduring impairment that makes it not possible for them to perform the duties of a juror.

The following people are disqualified from serving:

  • any person who on conviction of an offence in any part of Ireland has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment or detention of 5 years of more;

or

  • any person who has served any part of a sentence of imprisonment or detention of 3 months or more within the last 10 years.

The following people may be excused as of right:

  • People over the age of 65
  • The head or principal teacher of a college, university, school or other educational institution
  • Full-time students
  • Teaching staff –  if the principal certifies that the staff member concerned performs essential services that cannot be easily performed by someone else, or cannot be postponed
  • Practising medical practitioners, dentists, nurses, midwifes, veterinary surgeons or pharmacists
  • People in Holy Orders or who are regular ministers of any religion, or members of a religious order living in a monastery, convent or other religious community
  • Members of either House of the Oireachtas or of the Council of State
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General
  • The Clerks of Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann
  • Members of staff of either House of the Oireachtas –  if the Clerk certifies that the staff member concerned performs essential and urgent services of public importance that cannot be easily performed by someone else, or cannot be postponed
  • The Head of a Government Department and any civil servant –  if the Head of Department certifies that the staff member concerned performs essential and urgent services of public importance that cannot be easily performed by someone else, or cannot be postponed
  • The Chief Officer of a local authority, health board or harbour authority and any employee of those authorities – if the Chief Officer certifies that the staff member concerned performs essential and urgent services of public importance that cannot be easily performed by someone else, or cannot be postponed
  • The Secretary of the Commissioners of Irish Lights and any staff of the Commission – if the secretary certifies that the staff member concerned performs essential service that cannot be easily performed by someone else, or cannot be postponed
  • Master of Vessels, duly licensed pilots and duly licensed aircraft commanders
  • People who served on a jury or attended jury service in the previous three years and have been excused from jury service by the judge presiding over the case in question.