Juries: Key Workers

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 16th February 2021.

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Photo of Darren Jones Darren Jones Chair, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, Chair, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether people categorised as key workers during the covid-19 outbreak remain exempt from being called for jury service.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

In line with the Juries Act 1974, jurors are summoned randomly by the Jury Central Summoning Bureau (JCSB) using the Electoral Voting Registers. The registers are a list of everyone who has registered themselves as eligible to vote which are supplied to HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) by every Local Authority each year. At the point of being called for jury service a person’s occupation is not known.

At this time, the Government does not expect frontline emergency services staff, including those in the NHS, Police and Fire Service, to be serving on juries. Anyone in these groups, or any Key Worker working in any other frontline role, who is summoned for jury service should contact the JCSB. While by law we cannot automatically defer jurors, HMCTS has issued guidance to help staff deal sympathetically with all requests from the public who wish to be released or deferred from jury service as a result of COVID-19. Each application for deferral/excusal is considered on its own merit, in a way that is both fair to the individual and consistent with the needs of the court in providing a representative jury. We are keeping the situation under constant review.

We have published further details here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-courts-and-tribunals-planning-and-preparation#jury-trials-and-jury-service

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