Jury selection process
Here is the process for selecting a jury for a trial.
1. First selection
A computer chooses people at random from the electoral roll (over 18 and on the electoral roll).
2. Notice to prospective juror
If you’re chosen in the first selection, you receive a letter called ‘Notice to prospective juror’, which includes a questionnaire and excusal application.
Complete online or send the questionnaire either:
- without excusal application
- with excusal application and supporting documentation. If you’re not excused, you may go into the second selection.
Once your application for excusal has been determined, you will be advised of the outcome by text message, email or post.
3. Second selection
People are chosen at random from the second selection (those who returned questionnaires who are eligible and available to serve on a jury).
You may not get selected in this selection.
If selected, you will receive a summons for jury service by email or post.
Depending on the number of trials listed, you may be required to attend court for the jury selection process (called empanelment). If you have provided a mobile telephone number, you will receive an SMS each day of the sittings (around 5pm) advising whether you are required to attend the following day.
If you have not provided a mobile number, you must check the jury call-in message on the daily law list for the relevant courthouse each evening. This will indicate the jurors required to attend the following day. You can find you panel number on your summons.
You may be required to attend multiple days throughout a sittings period, or not at all.
When you attend court for an empanelment, your name or panel number may be called randomly during the empanelment process, which means you may become a member of the jury for that trial.
During the empanelment, the prosecutor may call out ‘stand by’ or the defence counsel may call out ‘challenge’. If this occurs, you return to the back of the court.
If your name or panel number is not called, you are not required for that particular matter. In larger courts, you may be taken to a different courtroom for another empanelment, or you may be able to leave for the day.
6. Swearing in
To complete the empanelment if your name is called, you’re asked to be sworn in as a juror. You’re then directed to a seat in the jury box.