Thursday, March 11, 2010

about jury duty

i recently finished my first ever stint of jury duty, and wanted to blog some thoughts and observations. so i'm going to start another mini-series on jury duty knowing full well that my previous one has stalled something serious...

anyway, a bit of background to begin with, taken from the queensland courts website:
Juries are an integral part of our legal system and are used in most criminal cases and some civil cases in both the Supreme and District Courts in Queensland.

Jurors are ordinary citizens aged between 18 and 70 years who:
  • come from all walks of life.
  • may not have any legal knowledge.
They do not have to decide on questions of law, or what sentence a guilty person should receive.

Juries listen to the evidence in court cases and decide whether or not the defendant is guilty or not guilty (or, in civil cases, who is at fault).

A jury is usually made up of 12 men and women selected at random.

The process for jury selection is as follows:
you do receive some (but not much) renumeration while serving jury duty, as well as reimbursements for public transport costs and a lunch allowance if lunch is not otherwise provided.

this was actually my second notification in the space of about six months. the first time i managed to be excused due to work commitments, but this time round i didn't have a valid reason and figured i'd go and fulfil my civic duty. as i subsequently discovered, there's more than one way to be excused if you really want no part of this process. but more on that later.

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