Attending court as a juror
If you get a jury summons for jury service on a certain date, you may be sworn in as a juror on a trial. You need to bring photographic ID to the court on your first day and each day that you need to attend.
What you need to bring with you
You must bring your jury summons with you each day. You should also bring identification. Acceptable forms of ID are:
- UK, Irish or EEA Driving licence (photographic part) (provisional accepted)
- Passport (any nationality)
- Home Office Documents confirming UK Immigration status
- EU National Identity Card
- An Electoral Identity Card
- Biometric Residence Permit (UK)
- Translink Senior SmartPass
- Translink 60+ SmartPass
- Translink War Disabled SmartPass
- Translink Blind Person’s SmartPass
- UK disability blue badge with photo
- UK armed forces/military ID card
Alternatively, you can also bring any two of the following:
- original birth certificate (issued within six weeks of birth)
- credit card with three statements and proof of signature
- cheque book and bank card with three statements and proof of signature
- three utility bills showing your correct name and address
Court staff will ask you to show these to confirm your identity when you arrive at court on your first day and any other days you need to be in court.
Asking to be excused
If you need to ask to be excused for the first day of your jury service or another day, you need to send your request in writing to the Customer Service Centre, along with any supporting evidence, You need to do this as soon as possible and before your jury panel begins.
If you are applying for an excusal or deferral, in the week before the date you are needed to attend court, you must send your requests in writing to the court office that you are to attend as the Customer Service Centre are unable to deal with your applications from this date.
Travel and parking
To get information about bus and train timetables, go to:
The juror pack has information about local car parks. If you drive to the courthouse, check how long you can pay for parking in the car park you use.
You are not advised to get limited car parking because if you're sworn onto a jury, you won't be able to leave the courthouse to top up your ticket.
Jurors with disabilities
If you have a disability and you are worried about access to the court or you need certain facilities during your jury service, you should contact the court office for further information and help.
On the first day of jury service
When you arrive at court, you will be:
- directed to the jury assembly area or courtroom
- introduced to a court official who will be available to deal with any queries you have
- shown a jury information video and be able to ask any questions you may have
If you have been convicted of an offence since receiving your summons, you must tell court staff.
Each day the court clerk will make a roll call of all jurors in court or in a jury assembly area. This is done in private to make sure that jurors’ identities are protected.
The court clerk will call your name and jury panel number which appears at the top right hand corner of your jury summons. You need to respond when the clerk calls your jury panel number.
You can be fined for not turning up for jury service. You should arrive on time each day, however if you are delayed or sick, you must contact the juries officer in the court that you are due to attend before 9.30 am that day.
The contact number is on your jury summons.
Length of waiting time before a trial begins
When you have been summoned to appear as a jury panel member, this doesn't mean that you will be on the jury. You don't become a juror until you have been called into the jury box and ‘sworn’ or ’affirmed’.
You may be called to serve on a trial immediately or you might need to wait while a court deals with other matters.
To pass the time, you can bring a laptop, book, magazine or paper to read in the waiting room. However, none of these items will not be allowed in the courtroom and will be stored securely.
The judge and court staff usually release the panel members that are not likely to be needed as soon as possible. But a reserve of jurors is often needed.
Jury panel information
Usually the jury officer or the judge if you have been sworn as a juror, will tell you at the end of each day if you need to come back. You should contact the jury line on 0800 032 7080 or check jury panel information online after 5.00 pm each evening to see if you're needed to attend the next day.
Serving on a trial
You won’t know which trial you will sit on until you are sworn in. Trials can last a few days or a number of weeks. A typical jury panel usually remains in place for around four weeks. Jurors could be selected to sit on more than one trial during this time. Sometimes the case isn't ready to go to court. Sometimes the defendant pleads guilty and the trial doesn't go ahead.