Every Irish citizen from the age of 18 who is on the Register of Electors is eligible for Jury service  There is no payment  for  jury service. Travelling expenses are not allowed. If you are serving as a Juror, lunch will be provided on the day or days that the trial is on. If you are in employment, section 29 of the Juries Act 1976 places a duty on  your employer to allow you attend for jury service and you are entitled to by paid by your employer.

Exempt

The following are exempt from Jury Duty:

  • Those involved in any way with the administration of justice. This includes judges, former judges, the President, the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, members of the Gardai and defence forces, Prison Officers, practising Barristers, Solicitors, court officers such as Registrars and personnel in Government departments involved in matters of justice or the courts.
  • Those who are unable to read or have a long-term impairment so that it is not practical for them to serve on a Jury.

Disqualification

The following persons are disqualified from Jury service:

  • Those who have been convicted of a serious offence in Ireland.
  • Those who have ever been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of five years or more.
  • Those who, within the last ten years, have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months.
  • People living in Ireland who are not Irish citizens.

Functions and duties of a Juror

Jurors fulfil a very important function in the legal system. In a criminal trial, they are responsible of deciding whether, on the facts of the case, a person is guilty or not guilty of the offence for which he/she has been charged. The Jury must reach a verdict by considering only the evidence introduced and the directions of the Judge. The Jury follows the directions of the Judge as regards legal matters. During the trial, Jurors may take notes of proceedings. Jurors may also pass notes to the foreman of the jury to ask the Judge to explain certain aspects of the case.  Jurors are taken into the Jury room and allowed no outside communication, with the exception of notes to the court Registrar. They may keep a copy of the indictment, the exhibits and their notes.

Jurors may send out notes asking for the law to be further explained or for the judge to remind them of the details of the evidence.

The jury has no role in sentencing. This decision is left up to the Judge following submissions made by both sides.