Jurors are an essential part of the Legal Process and attendance is necessary if you receive a Jury Summons. Jurors do not receive any state payment for carrying out their civil duty but under Section 29 of the Jurors Act 1976 employers have a statutory obligation to pay any employee who is called for Jury Service.
Under the Juries Act, the following are punishable offences:-
- Failing to attend for jury service without reasonable excuse, or not being available when called upon to serve as a juror or being unfit for service by reason of drink or drugs.
- Making or causing to be made on your behalf false representations.
- Serving on a jury knowing you are ineligible or disqualified.
- Giving false or misleading answers to the presiding judge regarding your qualification for jury service.
- Making or causing to be made on behalf of a person summoned as a juror any false representations to enable him or her to evade jury service.
To qualify for Jury Service you must:-
- Be an Irish Citizen;
- Be entered on the Electoral Register; and,
- Not be ineligible or disqualified from being a Juror.
You may be excused from Jury Service if:
- You are excusable as of right (see later in article) and you inform your County Registrar that you wish to be excused;
- You can show the County Registrar that you served on a jury or attended Court to serve on a Jury in the three year period prior to receiving a Jury Summons;
- A Court has excused you from Jury Service for a period not yet ended; or,
- You can show the County Registrar with supporting documentation that there is a good reason why you should be excused and the County Registrar agrees.
People who are ineligible for Jury Service:-
- President of Ireland
- Persons concerned with the administration of Justice including Judges, Coroners, The Attorney General, Staff of the Attorney General, The Director of Public Prosecutions, Staff of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Practising Barristers, Practising Solicitors, Legal Staff of Practising Barristers or Solicitors, Gardai, Prison Officers, Employees of Prisons or places of Detention, Members of Visiting Committees of Prisons or places of Detention, Probation and Welfare Service Employees, Courts Service Employees and Members of Staff of Forensic Science Laboratories.
- Members of the Defence Forces including the Reserve Defence Force (while in receipt of pay as such) and members of the Army Nursing Service.
- Persons with incapacity to read or who have an enduring impairment which would make it impracticable for them to perform the duties of a Juror.
Persons Disqualified from Jury Service:-
- Those who have been convicted of a serious offence in Ireland.
- Those who have ever been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of five years or more.
- Those who, within the last ten years, have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months.
Persons excusable from Jury Service as of Right:-
- Anybody aged 65 or over.
- The Head or Principal Teacher of a College, University, School or other Educational Institution.
- Members of the Teaching staff of any College, University, School or other Educational Institution if the principal certifies that such member performs essential services in the Institution that cannot be reasonably performed by another or postponed.
- Full-Time Students.
- Practising Medical Practitioners, Dentists, Nurses, Midwives, Vetinary Surgeons or pharmaceutical chemists.
- A Person in Holy Orders, a regular Minister of any religion or member of a religious order living in a Monastery, Covent or Religious Community.
- Members of the either House of the Oireachtas (the Irish Parliament), members of the Council of State,
- The Comptroller and Auditor General
- The Clerks of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann
- Members of staff of either House of the Oireachtas if it is certified by the Clerk that their functions cannot reasonably be performed by another person or postponed;
- The Chief Officer of a Local Authority, Health Board or Harbour Authority and any employee of such Authority or Board if the Chief Officer certifies that their functions which are essential and urgent cannot reasonably be performed by another person or postponed.
- The Secretary of the Commissioners of Irish Lights and any member of staff of the Commission if the secretary certifies that their functions which are essential and urgent cannot reasonably be performed by another person or postponed;
- Masters of Vessels, Licensed Pilots and Licensed Aircraft Commanders;