Attending court as a juror

You'll find information on this page about attending court as a juror. This includes what to bring, travelling to court, what happens on your first day and what to do if you can't attend.

Always check the jury line page or call freephone 0800 032 7080 after 5pm each day to find out if you are needed. You won't be able to claim jury allowances for days you've attended when you weren't required.

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:

  • full passport
  • photo driving licence
  • EU National Identity card
  • Home Office documents confirming UK immigration status

Alternatively, you can also bring any two of the following:

  • 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 name and address

Court staff will ask you to show these to confirm your identity when you arrive at court on your first day.

Travel and parking

It is recommended that you use public transport to get to the courthouse. You can get information about bus and train timetables by contacting Translink.

Public transport is not always suitable for everyone, therefore details of local car parks are included as part of the useful information sheet in your juror pack. 

Be careful about the car park you choose. While pay and display car parks are handy for short stays, you could be sworn onto a jury meaning 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 please get in contact with the court you are due to attend as soon as possible.

You'll find contact details for each court at the link below or you can download the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunal Service (NICTS) customers with disabilities leaflet.

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 make this known to 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 out your name and jury panel number which appears at the top right hand corner of your jury summons, which is included with the information pack you received. Please ensure that you respond to the court clerk when your jury panel number is called.

Attendance

You can be fined for not turning up for jury service. If you think you're going to be late or you're sick and can't attend, make sure to contact the juries officer before 9.30 am that day. 

You'll find the contact number on the front of your jury summons.

Jury allowances and claiming

You may be entitled to allowances to cover travel, subsistence or financial loss over the period you had to attend court. You’ll have received a claim form with your jury summons. You must submit your claim within 14 days of completing jury service.

Find out more about claiming jury allowances.

Length of waiting time before a trial begins

When you have been summoned to appear as a jury panel member, this does not definitely mean that you will become a member of a jury on a trial. You do not 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 may have to wait while a court deals with matters that don’t require the jury. It is not possible to say accurately when a particular case will start; you may have to wait at court for what may seem an unnecessary length of time.

You may want to bring a laptop, book, magazine or paper to read in the waiting room, but you must not read them in the courtroom.

The judge and court staff try to make sure that jurors are not kept waiting any longer than necessary and will try to release the people that are not likely to be needed as soon as possible. However, a reserve of jurors is generally needed for possible illness, challenges and so on. If there is a delay, please be patient.

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 return the following day. But always check the jury line page or call freephone 0800 032 7080 to find out if you are needed. 

Serving on a trial

Trials sometimes take longer than expected or sometimes the case is not ready to go to court. Sometimes the defendant pleads guilty at the last minute so the trial does not go ahead.

You won’t know which trial you will sit on until you have been sworn in.

Find out more about what to expect if you are serving on a jury panel.

 

 

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