Whilst I’ve never been called for jury service, my wife has recently been called for the second time; the first time was about 30 years ago!
There are two things that amaze and really annoy me about this latest call.
Firstly, my wife is now over 70, and thus not eligible for jury service. So why on earth can’t the system that ‘picks the names out of a hat’ filter out those that are not eligible? With all the government systems that contain everyone’s details, it would be a simple matter to filter out on date of birth, and thus save time and money!
Secondly, and this is the one that really gets my goat: the documentation sent out with the summons to jury service contains a sheet, printed on both sides, with three paragraphs in seven different languages. As only one of the seven uses the Latin alphabet (it may be Polish), I have absolutely no idea what the other six languages are. Why on earth is this necessary? At one sheet, it won’t have cost a lot, but it is nevertheless a waste of money IMHO.
I (naively perhaps) assumed that only UK citizens could be called to do jury service, so would expect them to understand English. Even if they are now UK citizens, but haven’t bothered to learn English, why would they be chosen? If they can’t understand the leaflets in English, how on earth are they going to follow the proceedings at a trial; or are we going to start translating all court proceedings if we get a jury member who cannot understand English? Again I would have thought there was sufficient information, e.g. census data, to filter out people who are either not eligible or not able to serve on a jury.