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Jury Service

(15 Posts)
scienceteacher Sat 20-May-06 09:13:29

DH has just received a jury summons for the Old Bailey for three weeks before we go on holiday. It says the usual service length is 2 weeks, so technically it shouldn't affect our holiday.

Does anyone have any experience of this? Surely they don't start big trials at the Old Bailey at the start of the school holidays...

Ack! something to worry about.

Bubbaloo Sat 20-May-06 09:28:32

I worked at the Bailey for 6 years and not all trials are long ones.Some people find they are only need for a short time,while others will be there much longer.If it is going to be a very long trial the judge will ask you whether it will be an inconvenience to you.
The fact it might be at the start of the school holidays makes no difference at all-criminals still have to be tried.It is very quiet during August there,as most of the judges go away and usually they don't have long trials then,although there are some acceptions.hth!

scienceteacher Sun 21-May-06 06:18:05

That is helpful, thanks.

cece Sun 21-May-06 08:56:29

My DH is currently on a 9 week trial at that court. The people who had a holiday booked all got out of doing the long trials so I wouldn't cancel it! In fact if I ever get called up I am bookinga holiday for just after the 2 weeks is up!

scienceteacher Sun 21-May-06 13:47:55

Wow, nine weeks! How is he coping with it? I can't imagine keeping track of all the evidence there must be (even with notes).

I guess that there must be hundreds of jurors at Old Bailey at any given time, so there will be some flexibility.

CristinaTheAstonishing Sun 21-May-06 14:22:22

I had a jury summons last summer. I wrote to say I have a newborn who I'm breastfeeding. They let me off this time. Hmm, not really useful for your DH, is it?

Bubbaloo Sun 21-May-06 16:18:10

ScienceTeacher-There is some flexibility with the jurors and they do take holidays and circimstances into consideration.There are also 18 courts at the Bailey so yes,lots and lots of jurors!

Blandmum Sun 21-May-06 16:26:10

dh is exempt as he is in the RAF.

I've never been called

What do they do if you have the responsibility of taking the kids to school etc etc?

scienceteacher Sun 21-May-06 17:05:41

You can apply to be excused or deferred if the dates are suitable for you, but the literature is very discouraging (I imagine they are nicer when dealing with you as an individual).

They will pay childcare costs incurred as a result of jury service, and the court hours seem reasonably family friendly (eg 10.30 start, but a 4.30 finish).

For those mums who are not good at school gate friendships, jury service really brings it home that it is important to cultivate some friendships that will be there for you when this kind of thing strikes.

Bubbaloo Sun 21-May-06 17:18:39

I thought the law had changed about exemptions and that nobody was exempt anymore.Even 2 of our judges had to do jury service and couldn't get out of it...obviously at different courts though.

scienceteacher Sun 21-May-06 17:26:58

I think you are right, Bubbaloo. From the bumph they sent us, it seems the only way to completely get out of it is to have had a long conviction, or a mental disorder. I read on their website yesterday that the law was new last year, and now the intention was that almost everyone on the electoral register would be fair game.

Blandmum Sun 21-May-06 17:30:25

That is intersting. Dh was called a few years ago and on the bumf it said that members of the armed forces were exempt....as long as the CO wrote a letter

scienceteacher Sun 21-May-06 17:32:04

THe law changed last year, MB

cece Sun 21-May-06 22:08:49

The hours are good - he gets home 1 hour earlier at the moment. but he is finding the responsibility of deciding on the verdict quite stressful. The evidence is quite difficult to concentrate on although they have lots of breaks. I think there is a lot of waiting around so it gets boring too.

julienetmum Sun 21-May-06 22:33:29

I got called when I was pregnant. I applied to defer becasue the first day I was called co-incided with a major event at work and my manager had already mistakenly given the rest of my department a weeks holiday, not realising the event was on.

I mentioned my pregnany on the bit where it asked about dates in the futire I would be unavailable for and I wasn't called again. I guess they actually didn't want to risk me becoming ill or going into prem labour or something.

Years and years ago my mum was not allowed to defer for childcare reasons (my Dad worked away from home). However they changed the dates she was needed and she happened to have already booked a holiday.

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