You Can't Dodge Jury Service in My Court; Judge Wants 29 No-Show Jurors to Be Prosecuted

Daily Mail (London), December 11, 2015 | Go to article overview

You Can't Dodge Jury Service in My Court; Judge Wants 29 No-Show Jurors to Be Prosecuted


Byline: Sean Dunne and Stephen Maguire

A JUDGE has ordered the courts to prosecute members of the public who failed to turn up for jury duty.

Judge John Aylmer made his order after 29 people failed to turn up to be selected for what was a two-day trial at Letterkenny Courthouse in Co. Donegal.

Of the 49 people called to serve on the jury on Wednesday, a total of 29 potential jurors whose names were called out were not present in court for selection.

Judge Aylmer told Letterkenny Circuit Court there was a very poor attendance.

A jury was eventually selected and the trial did go ahead.

However, those who did not turn up for service can now expect to receive a summons in the post.

Judge Aylmer told the court yesterday he had directed the county registrar to issue summonses to anyone who failed to turn up without offering a reasonable excuse. Earlier this year gardai and the Courts Service said they were planning a major crackdown on people who skip jury duty.

They warned that prosecutions would follow for those who fail to show up for jury duty when told.

A change in legislation in 2008 increased the fine for failing to comply with an order to attend for jury service. The penalty rose from [euro]50 from [euro]500.

The Courts Service spokesman said that the numbers prosecuted and fined under this law currently were very small.

Judge Aylmer is the second to sharply criticise members of the public who fail to show up for jury service.

In March 2012 Clonmel Circuit Court was left with just four jurors despite 100 people being called.

Judge Leonie Reynolds said those who had failed to show up risk prosecution.

She said at the time: 'If the jurors don't answer their summonses, the business of the court can't proceed. …

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