Just 20% showed up for jury duty last year

Only around one in five people called up for jury duty last year ended up attending in court, with large numbers of no shows and excusals still being recorded.

Just 20% showed up for jury duty last year

Only around one in five people called up for jury duty last year ended up attending in court, with large numbers of no shows and excusals still being recorded.

Figures released by the Courts Service show 42,840 people were asked to serve on a jury at Dublin’s Criminal Courts of Justice in 2019. Of those, 29,682 were excused, with another 4,248 described as no shows.

From those that were excused, 16,611 did not have to sit on a jury because they were disqualified, excused ‘as of right’, or had medical conditions that made it impossible. Another 9,298 were given a discretionary excusal, the vast majority of whom are self-employed or working in primary care.

In 1,684 cases, the jury summonses were described as ‘return to sender’, where the person involved was no longer at the address available to the Courts Service.

In 709 instances, the person was deceased, while late excusals — due to extenuating circumstances — were granted in 1,380 instances.

The percentage called to serve last year who ended up attending court was just over 20%, a marginal increase on 2018. The Courts Service said those figures only covered the Criminal Courts of Justice with a separate jury panel available for the Dublin Circuit Court and Central Criminal Court.

The rate of attendance ranged from 10.8% in one county to 27.2% in another. On average, the figure for attendees was around one in five. Not all counties kept detailed figures. Co Leitrim had the lowest attendance rate of those that provided figures. Of 2,050 people summonsed in 2019, 221 attended while another 218 were no shows and excusals were granted to 1,611 people. Wexford had the highest attendance — 1,711 people out of the 6,300 summonsed.

Other counties with relatively lower rates were: Waterford (15.6%); Wicklow (16.9%); and Longford (also 16.9%).

In Cork, 9,700 people were called, of whom 6,278 were excused. No breakdown of no shows and attendees was available.

The Courts Service said there has been a “vast” improvement in attendance in recent years and that was helped by the centralisation last year of the jury summons function in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.