Meadowpark Surgery Procedure for Jury Service Exemption
Jury service is an important public duty. Jurors are selected at random from the electoral register and can be cited for criminal trials (in the sheriff court or the High Court) or for civil cases in the Court of Session or the All Scotland Sheriff Personal Injury Court.
For criminal trials:
Balloting the jury is done in advance without the jurors being present. Only the 15 jurors balloted to participate, plus a small number of substitutes, will attend for the trial, with each jury being supported by a court officer.
For civil jury trials:
Balloting the jury is done on the first day of the trial. All cited civil jurors should attend the court for balloting. The jury will be supported by a court officer. If you feel your particular circumstances may merit excusal from service, you should review the information provided here: 1-guide-to-jury-service-eligibility.pdf (scotcourts.gov.uk)
This guide also provides details about those people who are not qualified for jury service, disqualified from jury service or ineligible for jury service.
If you wish to apply for excusal due to another special reason, for example commitments at work, cancellation of which would cause abnormal inconvenience either to yourself or others, or holiday plans which would be difficult or expensive to rearrange, you should complete the relevant sections of the application. You must also provide evidence to support your request, for example a holiday booking confirmation or letter from your employer. Applications for excusals are dealt with sympathetically by the courts, however, it must be understood that in some circumstances, the court may not be able to excuse individuals.
If you are disabled, or have accessibility or support requirements, please contact the court on receipt of your citation to discuss what arrangements can be made for you. In most courthouses there will also be access for those with mobility impairment. Courtrooms generally are sound-enhanced and some have the Baker Sound Induction Loop (SIL) or Phonic Ear System fitted for the benefit of those with hearing difficulties. If you feel that, due to illness or disability, you could not follow the evidence, you should inform the court before the date stated on your jury citation by completing the application for exemption or excusal from jury service. You must also provide a medical certificate.
When requesting a medical certificate from us please do not delay in making your request. We do not charge for this service. Please provide a copy of your citation alongside a letter stating your reason for being exempt and whether you have already discussed this with a particular GP. Once the GP has reviewed the request we will issue the certificate. If we cannot find grounds to exempt you, your request will be declined and we would ask that you make an appointment to see the GP to review this if you feel we have overlooked something.
If you have been sent a witness citation letter to give evidence at a trial, you will be expected to attend.
If you can’t attend court for medical reasons, you can ask your GP to provide you with a statement to this effect, called a “Soul and Conscience Certificate”, which you send to the Procurator Fiscal, for them to ask the court to excuse you from giving evidence. It can take some time for this letter to reach the Procurator Fiscal so it is important to ask us for this as soon as possible. Note that we charge a fee for this and that we are under no obligation to provide this certificate which should be issued only where there are very good medical grounds for excusing attendance. Similarly, simply submitting the Certificate to the court does not mean you are excused and the decision on whether or not to accept this is solely for the court.