I’ve recently had to do jury service. This was my second call, there is no way of getting out of it, you can only delay. It’s an important role, you have the responsibility to deliver a verdict – and what you decide is going to affect the life of those on either side in the case. I learnt a lot of lessons, here are a few.
- You have to turn on your empathetic switch entirely.
- You have to not prejudge. People may do things you don’t agree with, but that’s not to cloud your task.
- Children should be taught to read, they should not be alowed to leave school unless they can!
- A cocktail of hormones, drink, jealousy and bravado are a really bad mix.
- Do not grow plants over your boundary, certainly do not cut them without consulting your neighbour.
- 2-3 am is when you are most likely to be burgled.
- Do not leave valuables like handbags, phones, laptops etc downstairs at night. (My mum did actually tell me this before!)
- Gun licensing needs to be a LOT better
- If it seems like a bad idea, you’re right, it is!
Top tips on being a juror
Take a flask of your favourite hot drink. That way you don’t have to leave half finished drinks, or burn your mouth trying to finish a hot drink when you get called into court.
- Take a packed lunch – except on Mondays, if you have the O2 app – and a valid O2 number, you can get a Boots lunch for £1.
- Take a book. There is a lot of hanging around.
- Be prepared to feel exhausted – it’s surprisingly really tiring concentrating on listening to evidence. Get a good nights sleep.
Did you know
It costs around £20k per day per court to run a trial, so give it your full attention.
Anyone can get called – even judges themselves!
My one regret
Why didn’t I ask where the fish and chips came from….