Generally speaking, every person who is enrolled on the State electoral roll, and resides in a gazetted jury district is qualified and liable to serve as a juror.
The gazetted jury districts are described in Governor-in-Council Order dated 12th December 2005 and published in the Tasmanian Government Gazette on 21st December 2005.
Some weeks before each sitting of the court the Sheriff randomly selects enough people from the long list that he deems sufficient to meet the needs of the court for that particular session. These people receive a letter called a summons to attend court and may be picked to act as jurors on trials during the session.
A session is normally two weeks, but no more than three weeks, unless a particular trial runs longer.
Who is not eligible?
People who are mentally or physically unfit to carry out the duties of a juror
This can include people with hearing loss or any other medical condition. If you fall into either of these categories you should fill out the statutory declaration form on the back of the summons and return it to the Sheriff’s Office together with a certificate from your doctor stating that you are unfit for jury service either for a set period of time or permanently.
People who cannot understand or speak English
If you cannot easily understand spoken or written English, then you will be excluded from jury service as it is essential that all jurors be able to understand everything that happens in court and be able to read and comprehend any documents that are relevant to the case.
If you fall into this category you should complete the statutory declaration form on the back of the summons, or have someone complete it on your behalf and have it witnessed by your local Chemist, Doctor, Police Officer, a Justice of the Peace or a Commissioner for Declarations and return it to the Sheriff’s Office.
Some people are disqualified from serving on a jury.
They include police officers, persons who were police officers in the last 10 years, practicing lawyers, and anyone connected with the investigation of crime, the administration of justice or the punishment of offenders.
In addition, you are disqualified from serving as a juror if you have a physical, intellectual or mental disability that makes you incapable of effectively performing the duties of a juror, or if you are unable to communicate in, or understand, the English language adequately.
You are also disqualified if you have been convicted of a crime or crimes in Tasmania or elsewhere and have been sentenced to a three or more year’s imprisonment or detention. If the sentence was three months or more, but less than three years, the disqualification period is for five years after release from prison.
Persons in prison, undergoing a suspended prison sentence, doing community service orders or on parole are similarly disqualified from serving as jurors.
If you think you fit into one of the categories that are disqualified from serving as a juror please contact us.
If you are unsure if you are disqualified or have a query about jury service please contact the Sheriff.