Why not called for jury service?

| 26/07/2019

How do I know if I am an eligible juror? I keep seeing lists of jurors required for different periods but I never get a notification. How would I get notified? I’ve been a naturalised status holder for seven years now.

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

Auntie’s answer: Although you are a naturalised status holder, you will not be eligible for jury duty until you register to vote. In fact, there are some people out there without your civic mindedness who are eligible to vote but don’t register in case they wind up on a jury.

However, some people are exempt from jury duty, such as MLAs, doctors, judges and anyone aged 70 or older; and people are disqualified if they are at the time on trial in a criminal case or have been convicted and sentenced to prison.

An official at Judicial Administration explained that the names are selected randomly through an electronic jury wheel system based on the Elections Office list of all registered voters and installed in the Judicial Enforcement Management System. Between 125 and 170 names of potential jurors are randomly selected every three months.

If you have any other jury-related questions, I suggest you check out the Judicial Administration website’s FAQs on being a juror, which look very comprehensive.  

I have assumed that you are not registered to vote, but if you are and have not been called for jury duty, it’s just the luck of the electronic draw. If you aren’t and want to find out how to register, I suggest you visit the Elections Office website here. In addition to being eligible for jury duty you will, of course, then be able to vote in general elections and referendums.

I would like to add that I admire your sense of civic duty. While some people view being called as a juror an inconvenience, you appear to be embracing the idea. Good for you, since our system of justice would grind to a halt without being able to rely on a well-stocked jury pool.

The eligibility for jury duty is addressed in the Judicature Law (2017 Revision) under Section 8(1), which can be found on the CNS Library

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Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been a registered voter for over 10 years and never been called on. My coworker also registered for 10 years got called on three times in one year. I do think they should pick randomly through the list but then continue to pick from who hasn’t been a juror and go from there instead of leaving some out while repeating the use of others.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Every one clings to this ‘civic duty’ thing, but civic duty also calls on people to respect the rights, beliefs and opinions of others. Some people prefer not to serve on jury’s but may well volunteer for other civil duties, so don’t knock those that choose not to be a juror.

  3. Anonymous says:

    May be the same people, for some reason, are called?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been registered to vote for maybe 10 years and I have been called once, but it really isn’t that bad, parking in town is a bit of a pain and the process could be more efficient. But at the same time it can be interesting to see how the justice system works.

  5. Barbara Clark says:

    Dear Auntie. I have lived in Cayman for 40 years and been a registered voter for 35. I have been called to jury service once only. So it’s not exactly onerous. In other countries it’s illegal to shirk your civic duties so hopefully when we all have ID cards that can be addressed here.