What is a Jury?

A jury consists of twelve ordinary citizens who are able to apply their common-sense to the matter of determining the guilt or innocence of someone accused of an offence.  The basis for a twelve person jury is that it is a representative cross section of the local community and therefore are more likely to judge in line with generally accepted values of the society. Jurors represent diverse backgrounds and therefore, individual prejudices are likely to be neutralised.

Of what importance is jury service?

Jury service is a very critical element of the justice system in our country.  The justice system in Jamaica like other democracies rests on the concept of trial by jury. Trial by jury ensures that the people are accountable to each other rather than to a government appointed judge for decisions made in such trials.

Discussions among juries in the main lead to more thorough consideration of all aspects of a case.

We anticipate that you if you are summoned, you will not hesitate to serve with clarity of mind, diligence, seriousness and a sense of pride.

  • You must be between ages 18 and 70

  • Your name must be on the current Voter’s List

  • You must have a Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN)

  • Persons under 18 years of age or over the age of 70;

  • A person who is not a Commonwealth citizen;

  • A person who is unable to speak, read or write English;

  • A person awaiting a preliminary enquiry or trial in the Resident Magistrate or trial in the Circuit Court for an indictable offence i.e. serious offences such as murder, shooting with intent and unlawful wounding.

  • A person who has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment for a period in excess of six (6) months.

Others who cannot serve because of the nature of their jobs:

  • Politicians, some public officials and diplomats

  • Judges and lawyers

  • Medical doctors, nurses, soldiers, teachers and pilots

  • It gives you the opportunity to participate in the delivery of justice

  • It gives you an opportunity to learn new things , meet new people and have new experiences

  • It provides opportunities for helping others

  • It forms part of your civic duty

  • Your employer is duty bound to give you time off to serve as a juror.