Jury selection process
There are several steps to selecting a jury for a trial. Below is the process for jury selection.
1. First ballot
A computer chooses people at random from the roll (over 18 and on the electoral roll).
2. Notice to prospective juror
If you’re chosen in the first ballot, you receive a letter called ‘Notice to prospective juror’, which includes a questionnaire and excusal application.
Complete and send the questionnaire either:
- without excusal application
- with excusal application and supporting documentation. If you’re not excused, you may go into the second ballot.
You will not hear anything more if your excusal application is accepted.
3. Second ballot
People are chosen at random from the second ballot (those who returned questionnaires who are eligible and available to serve on a jury).
You may not get selected in this ballot.
If selected in the ballot, you receive a summons for jury service stating you may need to come to court for the jury selection process (empanelment).
Then your panel name and number is either:
- selected for empanelment and you attend court on the day required
- not selected throughout the jury service period, so you don’t have to attend court.
If you do attend court for empanelment, your name may be called randomly during the empanelment process, which means you may sit on the jury.
If your name is not called, you’re not required to sit on the jury.
6. Swearing in
If your name is called, you’re asked to swear in. You’re then directed to a seat in the jury box.
During swearing in, the prosecutor calls ‘stand by’ or the defence counsel calls ‘challenge’.