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General Chat Thread, Oh great. Jury Service. Brilliant. Not. in General; Our caretaker spent 3 days sitting round getting bored while cases from the previous week were finished. He finally started ...
  1. #16

    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Our caretaker spent 3 days sitting round getting bored while cases from the previous week were finished. He finally started a case on the Thursday. He was let out early on the Monday when the case finished and came back to school. He had to go back on the Tuesday and had another case which lasted until the Thursday and was then finished because the court he was at didn't start cases on a Friday.

    As far as I'm aware, your employer is bound to give you the time off, but not to pay you for your absence (that's at your employer's discretion). If you don't get paid in your absence, you can claim limited payment from the court. Our caretaker works a split shift and the court payment didn't cover his normal salary, so he would come back to school and work his evening shift.

  2. #17
    Heebeejeebee's Avatar
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    Done jury service - not bad and good expenses

    More worrying is the fact that your missus opens and reads your mail.

    HBJB

  3. #18

    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    FWIW, I did jury service a couple of years ago and it really wasn't so bad. I was only on one case lasting two days, but they say that most of the time you won't be there beyond your two week allocation. Your employer is required to give you the time off unless there are extenuating circumstances, and you can be reimbursed for your earnings by the court. I actually found it really interesting to do.

  4. #19

    mattx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heebeejeebee View Post
    Done jury service - not bad and good expenses

    More worrying is the fact that your missus opens and reads your mail.

    HBJB

    Lordy, my missus opens up my mail, my e-mail & anything else thats personal to me. Never bothered me, in fact if she didn't I wouldn't know where I was supposed to be, what bills to pay and what meetings to attend etc !!

  5. #20

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    One of our teachers was called up for it last year - he was paid his normal wage by the school, less the nominal payment which the courts gave.

    Another one of our TAs managed to get out of it as they supported an autistic child who reacted badly to a change of environment (such as having a cover TA for two weeks).

    I'd actually think it'd be a nice thing to do for a couple of weeks - certainly different from the norm.

  6. #21

    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy_git View Post
    I'd actually think it'd be a nice thing to do for a couple of weeks - certainly different from the norm.
    I wouldn't say nice, exactly - it was a little unsettling having pass a judgement on somebody, especially as we then discovered his history and that he wouldn't get bail on that basis and was probably going down for quite a long time at just 15. But it was certainly very interesting seeing the process first hand, learning how the courts work in practice and so forth.

  7. #22
    eejit's Avatar
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    I did it at the old bailey a couple of months ago.

    First the myths about "getting off":
    • The law changed in 2005, it is now very difficult to become exempt, so most people's stories will apply to the old, more lenient laws.
    • You can get deferred, but only to a later date within the same year.
    • They don't give a monkey's about work commitments.


    How to get off:
    • They DO take note of booked holidays. So, if you want to guarantee that you will be not given a case that'll last more than two weeks as soon as you get the letter through, book a 1p Ryanair flight to anywhere that commences on your third week. Just to be safe, they will not give you a case that is expected to last more than a week.
    • Language. At the end of the first day one of my fellow jurors passed a note to the judge saying that he couldn't understand much of the evidence, he was dismissed from all jury service and we carried on with 11.


    Having said that though, I'm glad that I didn't try to cop out. More than likely you will spend most of your time waiting around. I was lucky though and on my first morning got a case that was scheduled to last 2 weeks. It ended up taking 4 weeks, and it was an enormous hassle to me, my family, and my job, but it still was a life changing experience that I will never forget. When you see how corrupt law makers can be you will be glad that a system like this exists to keep check on it all.

  8. #23

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    I've done jury service twice; I wouldn't describe it as exciting but it is important. British justice is based on the idea that you get tried by a jury (the judge and barristers don't make the decision about guilt!) so I'd say it's important that as many ordinary people as possible take part in jury service.

    Dealing with your fellow jurors is probably the most fascinating bit - you're almost certain to get some who are absolutely determined that the accused will be hung for parking on a double yellow line and must be guilty because the police say so but you'll also get those who don't believe a word said by either barrister or any police. Add to that those who feel sorry for the poor person in the dock and you can get a weird old brew :-)

  9. Thanks to srochford from:

    GrumbleDook (28th April 2009)

  10. #24

    nephilim's Avatar
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    I did it once, and it was not fun, but interesting. I was almost thrown out of the jury for the fact that the incident happened 50 yards from my house, but I stated that I did not know the people in the case and I was on holiday so I was allowed in - but had to prove the holiday part.

    Hopefully I wont get called up again as it meant that a work project got put on hold for 2 weeks. They really do not care for work commitments unless you are a social carer.

  11. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    I wouldn't say nice, exactly - it was a little unsettling having pass a judgement on somebody, especially as we then discovered his history and that he wouldn't get bail on that basis and was probably going down for quite a long time at just 15. But it was certainly very interesting seeing the process first hand, learning how the courts work in practice and so forth.
    I'm not sure why I put "nice" in that context - I think interesting is probably more appropriate.

  12. #26

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    I'm with Steve to say that it is an important duty.

    Also remember that laws are applied based on case law, so you are helping to form decisions about how laws are enforced in this country. If you are not into politics or protesting then this is a way that you could have an effect.

  13. #27

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    I got a serious violence case one week, and for the next week a paedophile case with plot twists and drama you definitely wouldn't believe. Everyone found the latter a bit umm.. traumatic. Still not all experiences worth having are necessarily enjoyable and I'm glad I didn't wriggle out of that.

  14. #28

    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    My Mum got the coroner's court for her jury service... not a pleasant experience.

  15. #29

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    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGsnjUCAVg4"]YouTube - family guy-jury duty[/ame]

  16. #30
    SteveBentley's Avatar
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    I got the letter while I was a student. A letter from my tutor explaining that missing that amount of time from Uni would be detrimental to my studies was enough to get me excused.

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