How to uphold your obligations as a juror

Courtney KimLegal System

juror

If you have been chosen to serve as a juror on a trial, it is important that you take your role seriously as your judgement will be impacting on the parties involved. Everyone has the right to a fair trial, and that includes having a fair jury panel.

Aside from giving the trial your full attention, there are other obligations you should uphold as part of your duty as a juror. Fulfilling such obligations is part of demonstrating your ability to respect citizen responsibilities.

Impartiality

Above all, as a juror, you should demonstrate fairness, open-mindedness, and impartiality in your judgement. It is thus important that you let the judge know whether there is a conflict of interest that prevents you from judging the trial fairly.

It is also important that you let the judge know if you are acquainted with any of the witnesses in the trial.

Confidentiality

As a juror, you will be required to maintain a level of confidentiality regarding the trial. That means that you should not talk about the case with other people such as your colleagues.

Similarly, you should not post any discussion or material from serving as a juror on social media.

Taking notes

You will be provided a notebook when sitting in trial to take notes as you feel is necessary. You must hand this in at the end of every court day and at the end of the trial. The material in this notebook should not leave the courtroom.

While sitting in court, you are not permitted to use any research tool to find out more information about any matter in the trial.

Full attendance

As part of the jury panel in a court case, it is required of you to attend the trial in its entirety. Each court day goes from 9.30am to 4pm, and if the trial goes on for longer than a day, every juror is expected to fully attend every day the trial is being heard.

Your summons should have an estimation of the length of the trial, so if you think that it may overlap with events such as overseas travel, you should apply to be excused.

Jury view

Jurors may be required to go to the scene of the alleged crime alongside the judge and legal representatives. Such events will happen within court hours and will be pre-arranged. If such visits are arranged during your trial, it is your responsibility as a juror to attend.