During the trial

If you’re selected as a juror, you and the other 11 jurors must listen to all the evidence given during the trial. Then you must look at the facts and decide whether the person accused of the crime is guilty or not guilty.

You don’t need to be a legal expert to be on a jury. The judge will help you with any legal information.

As a juror, you must follow 3 rules:

  1. Don’t talk about the trial to anyone who’s not on the jury. This includes family, friends and the media. It also includes lawyers, witnesses and other people who might be interested in the trial.
  2. Don’t investigate or do any research about the case. For example, don’t go to any of the places mentioned in the trial, look up anything about the trial on the internet or watch or read any media coverage of the trial.
  3. Don’t post anything on social media about the trial.

Tell court staff straight away if you or another juror:

  • has heard or read something about the case outside the court room that might stop you from being fair and having an open mind
  • knows someone connected to the case, like a witness, the defendant or a friend of the defendant.

Process for a jury trial

The judge usually talks at the start of the trial about the case and what they do in the trial.

The prosecution talks to the jury and then calls their witnesses one by one.

The defence talks to the jury and then calls their witnesses one by one.

The defence can make another speech, if they want to summarise their case.

The prosecution can make another speech, if they want to summarise their case.

The judge gives you a summary of everything and tells you how the law applies.

You and the other jurors go to the jury room and talk about the case and the evidence (this is called deliberating). Then you decide for yourself if the defendant is guilty or not guilty.

You and the other jurors go back to the court room and the jury foreperson tells the judge if the jury thinks the defendant is guilty or not guilty of each charge.

If the defendant is found guilty, the judge usually sets a date for sentencing.

The judge thanks the jury for their service.

You’ll be told if you have to come back to court tomorrow in case you’re needed for another jury.

Find out more detail about jury trials

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