A jury is a group of people (12 for a criminal case and 4 for a civil case) who sit in a court to hear evidence and make decisions about facts with the guidance on the law from a judge. All jury discussions must occur in the jury room and only when all jurors are present. Jurors are not allowed to discuss the case being heard with any other people and must not during a trial use any material or research tool, such as the Internet, to access any material which relates to any matter arising in the trial.

The Jury Branch of the Sheriff’s Office administers the jury system in New South Wales. Branch officers liaise with court registries to determine the number of jurors required for trials, to commence and deal with applications to be excused or exempt from jury service and to take follow up action in respect of absentee jurors.

If you receive a “notice of inclusion”, it means that you are on a list (randomly selected from the electoral roll for each jury district) from which jurors will be selected over the next 12 months. Some people will be ineligible to serve jury duty (such as parliamentarians, lawyers and policemen), some will be disqualified from service (such as convicted criminals) and others have a right of exemption (such as dentists, pharmacists, doctors, mine managers, pregnant women, the elderly and university students).

Employers are required by law to release employees for jury service and must not dismiss or prejudice employees as a result of their attending jury service. Often employers will continue to pay employees while they are attending jury service however if not, jurors can be paid a daily attendance fee and travel allowance by the court.

If we can assist you in relation to any enquiries regarding jury service or any court or litigation issues generally, please telephone Kevin Dwyer or email kevin@wmdlaw.com.au.

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