Jury Duty for Dummies–Part 1

I’ve reached the ripe old age of (censored) without ever having being called for jury duty. There was one year in my workplace where it seemed my whole department except me was called.  I wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or offended.

Anyhooo.. today I got the summons.  For anybody who has not been summoned before, this is what you get:

  • A very complicated jury number

  • A scary form (the information on the back lists a variety of reasons why you might be fined 500 Euro).  The warning is in bold. The warning about the warning is ALL IN CAPS. (Did nobody in the County Registrar’s office ever take a business writing course?

  • An A4 page festooned in bold and CAPS (WRITING skills course anybody?)

  • An A4 page festooned in bold and CAPS as Gaeilge. Maybe the Gaeilgeors don’t mind over-emphasis.

  • A leaflet explaining the contents of the A4 pages and, finally, explaining why it is a good thing to be a juror (I was beginning to wonder…..)

I now know that unless I am 65 or over, a full-time student or teacher, a medical practitioner or a politician, a person in holy orders, an aircraft commander or master of a ship, I don’t get excused.  Interesting that politicians and persons in holy orders are excused, is it because the courts accept our perceptions of the untrustworthiness of our secular and pastoral leaders?

The drill is that I must present myself at the named court on 13th February and make myself available until noon each day, for four days. During this time, I may or may not be chosen to act as a juror.  There is a possibility that a case might run on longer than that. If I am chosen, I can go home each night, unless there are “exceptional circumstances”.

Nothing so far in the information provided indicates that I can’t discuss my experience. So, assuming I don’t get picked for a long-running case that demands I can’t go home each night, I’ll be back with Part 2 on Feb 13.

More information about Jury Service

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