Potential juror… as if

In August I received a ‘Notice of Selection for Potential Jury Service’. This might have been a reason for feeling proud, but according to the attached ‘Guide to Jury Service Eligibility and Applying for Excusal‘, “you are qualified for jury service if [this and that and] you have lived in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for any period of at least 5 years since you were 13 years old“. Which I haven’t, only arriving in 2011, so I duly ticked the appropriate box and sent the form back.

Thus, I was surprised when in November I received a ‘Citation’ telling me I should attend the High Court as a juror on 17 December. I went there the following day and explained my case to the receptionist. She was helpful enough, although she looked at the Guide as though seeing it for the first time in her life, so that I had to point the relevant passage to her, and despite making me recollect the horror stories I’ve occasionally read in the news about the level of British numeracy, when she first said “but it is five years since 2011” then began counting on her fingers: “eleven – twelve – thirteen – aha!“.

In a couple of days I received a letter informing me that I was indeed ‘exempted’ for the time being. But the whole story didn’t fill me with much trust in the standard of our judiciary . . .



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