7 Ways to Get Out of Jury Duty

The Title of this blog might well sound like this is going to be a humourous article. However that is not really the purpose of this page.

Today I received a summons from the courthouse in Rockhampton where we live to participate in jury duty for a whole month. There is little room to refuse such an "invitation" unless you would suffer financial hardship, or your employer cannot spare you.

Immediately my mind began to think of all funny things I could say to be excused from the obligation. I could say that I "really loved the law and the police." This would be true but would be misleading, giving the impression that I was biased against criminals and would not make a good juror.

In the end after my moment of joking in my mind, I realised that jury duty is a serious obligation, and having good jurors, helps have a good justice system. That is something that we need very much.

Some nations in the world, such as Somalia are more or less lawless, with no effective legal or justice systems. They are like the days of the wild west where everyone does whatever pleases them. Fortunately most nations have a reasonable legal system, and that is why we must always be grateful for law, order, and for the police too.

So I would say to you, why would you want to be excused from jury duty. We should do our part to contribute to a better society. It will make the world a fairer place and help keep up moral standards and maintain righteousness. All of this is good and we should not try to get out of it unnecessarily.

However there are sometimes good reasons to be excused, and so here are some reasons that will help you get off jury duty in Australia.

  1. Your work or study commitments make it impossible. (proof required)
  2. Medical reasons. (proof required)
  3. Personal reasons such as bereavement or caring for needy people.
  4. Financial reasons. Juror's pay is not very good and some people may not be able to survive on it for a few weeks.
  5. You have recently been a juror.
  6. You are a member of the police, government or justice systems already.
  7. You have a mental illness. (requires a medical certificate)

So if you are selected for jury duty, don't skip town. There is a $1000 fine (or 2 months in jail) for avoiding the summons. Instead give it your best shot and see if you can insert some reasonableness and heart into it. It may make all the difference.

For an interesting movie on a related theme - see 12 Angry Men.

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