In the ACT, Jurors are only used in cases where a person is accused of a serious crime and their matter is being heard in the Supreme Court.
A jury of 12 people (“jurors”) is used to decide whether the person is guilty or not guilty.
Using a jury to assist in deciding the innocence or guilt of an accused person ensures that the community has a role in the administration of justice.
Anyone whose name is on the ACT electoral roll may be randomly selected (summoned) for jury service.
After receiving a jury duty summons you should note the following important information located on the summons as you may need to refer to it later:
- The date and time you are required to attend,
- Your Panel Number
If you can’t read, have trouble writing or English is your second language and you would like to ask for an exemption or postponement you will need to ask a friend to assist you complete the forms and send them to the Jury Management Unit.
Documents can be sent to the Jury Management Unit via email, post or in person.
- Email: email@example.com
- Post: Jury Management Unit, GPO Box 1548, Canberra ACT, 2601
- In Person: ACT Court Registry situated in the ACT Courts, 4 Knowles Place Canberra
If you need further clarification, you may contact the Jury Management Unit on 6207 4269.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The Jury Handbook is extremely informative and it is highly recommended that all prospective jurors read this Handbook prior to commencing their jury service.
Other essential information you need to know has been summarised into the following two videos.
- Welcome to Jury Service explains the administration and paperwork you need to consider prior to coming to court;
- Coming to Court explains what you need to know when attending Court.
DISQUALIFIED, INELIGIBLE, EXEMPT or POSTPONED
The classes of people exempt, disqualified or ineligible from jury duty are outlined in the Juries Regulations 2018, on the back of the summons, and in the Jury Handbook, and includes:
- A person who has been convicted of an offence punishable by life imprisonment;
- An Australian Legal Practitioner;
- People who are unable to read and speak the English language;
- People who have a disability as defined by the Disability Services Act 1991;
- Some government employees.
You may ask for a postponement of your Jury Duty if you are:
- responsible for caring for someone;
- pregnant and
- other urgent, or, important matters.
Please note the above are examples only.
The Jury Handbook has current information about the relevant legislation governing disqualification and exemption of jurors. If you are eligible for disqualification or exemption under the current legislation, the Sheriff may either excuse you, or postpone your jury service.
PAYMENT FOR JURY SERVICE
The amount you will be paid for jury duty is set out in the current Juries (Payment) Determination.
Please be aware that it may take some weeks after your jury attendance has finished before payment is made.
- a travel and parking allowance for each day that you are required to attend Court; and
- public servants should receive their normal salary whilst on jury duty.
- a travel and parking allowance for each day that you are required to attend Court;
- a payment for attending Court; and/or
- a daily payment for each day of service for those who serve on a jury.
For private sector employees, other than casuals, your employer is required by the National Employment Standards to make up the difference between your jury payments and your normal basic pay for the first 10 days of jury service. It is wise to check with your Human Resources department to find out what arrangements are in place for people on jury service.
If you are receiving a government pension, you will need to declare the jury payment to Centrelink as it will be considered as ‘income’.
To ensure that all payments due to you are processed smoothly, fill out and return the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) form sent to you with your summons, as soon as possible. At the latest, bring it with you when you first attend Court.