What do I do on the day?
On the date of the summons you should come to the Courts of Justice, Deemsters Walk, Bucks Road, Douglas unless you have been excused.
You should report to the Ceremony Room at the Civil Registry on Deemsters Walk where you will be met by the duty coroner. You should attend no later than 9.30am. Please do not be late. The Coroner will be there to meet you from 9.20 am. Access to the building will not be possible prior to that time. Please bring the coroner's summons and photographic identification (e.g. driving license or passport) with you.
If you travel to court in your own vehicle, park it where it can remain all day because if you are chosen as a juror you may not be able to leave the court until the end of the day. There is no on-site parking for jurors.
Do not plan anything else for the day of the summons.
What happens next?
Once you have been met by the coroner, you will be shown an instructional 'jury film' lasting about 20 minutes. This dvd will help you familiarise yourself with the layout of the court, and the people who will be in there.
You will all then be taken into the jury room. Not all those summonsed will be needed for the trial. 7 jurors are required for most criminal trials although 12 are required in certain circumstances. 7 (or 12) jurors will then be balloted from the group.
If you are chosen, you will have the opportunity to state in writing if there is any reason why you cannot act impartially. Unless excused at this stage, you will be sworn-in as a juror by the Deemster.
At this time, the Deemster will talk you through taking the oath or affirmation.
Those taking the oath will hold a Holy Book and read aloud the following words: “I swear by Almighty God that I will faithfully try the defendant(s) and give a true verdict according to the evidence.” This is the general oath however it will vary slightly depending on which Holy Book you are holding e.g. the Islamic oath would replace the words “Almighty God” with “Allah”.
Those affirming will read aloud the following words but without the Holy Book: “I do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will faithfully try the defendant(s) and give a true verdict according to the evidence.”
When you swear an oath or affirm, you are making a legally binding commitment to do your best to fulfil your role as a juror and take an active role in delivering a fair verdict on the defendant.
The Deemster will explain the nature of a juror's duties and the trial will commence.
If you are not chosen as a juror you must not leave the building until a court official has dismissed you. If there is an objection about any of the selected jurors, another will be balloted from the remaining group.
Will I get paid?
You will be entitled to payment for attending court in response to the summons, whether or not you are chosen as a juror. You will also be entitled to limited travel expenses, if you have any. If you are chosen as a juror, the amount of money you are paid depends on the length of the trial. For more information on remuneration, refer to the payment section. Please ensure you retain any bus tickets, taxi or car park receipts as they will need to be submitted with your claim form.
The trial will usually start at 10am each day, breaking for lunch at about1pm and finishing about 4.30pm to 5pm. You may also be given a 10-15 minute break in the morning, and one in the afternoon. However these times will depend on the Deemster and how the evidence is going.
The coroner will look after you throughout the trial. If you have any questions or problems you should approach the coroner, who will in turn ask the court.
As a juror, you are not to discuss the case with anyone other than the other members of the jury at court.
Once the Deemster has summed up all the evidence and given directions to the jury, you will retire into the jury room to consider all the evidence and decide your verdict. Any questions or problems from the jury room again should be directed to the coroner, who will bring the matter to the attention of the court.
If the jury request to see an exhibit, the coroner will take the required exhibits to the jury room during your deliberations for you to view.
If making a decision continues into the lunch hour, a light lunch will be provided by the court.
When deciding, the jury will appoint one member to act as the foreperson. The foreperson will indicate to the coroner if/when you have reached a verdict and the coroner will notify the court.
Once back in court, it is the foreperson that will give the verdict to the court when the Deemster asks.
For more information you may wish to read the Frequently Asked Questions section relating to jurors.