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Introduction

Jurors are an essential part of the administration of justice in our country. The courts could not function without their cooperation. Jurors are selected at random and are sworn to give a verdict on the basis of evidence given in a court case. The assumption is that ordinary people applying their common sense, can arrive at a fair and reasonable verdict.

Serving on a jury is often the best way for individuals to participate in our government. Unlike voting which is a privilege of citizenship, jury service is a civic duty and an obligation but one which for many people is a memorable and worthwhile experience.

The law relies on juries to decide on facts which are often in dispute. Juries are most usually needed for criminal trials. They are not needed for most civil cases. In a criminal case, the task of the jury is to decide whether an accused person is guilty or not guilty of the offence for which he/she has been charged. The guilt of an accused person has to be proved to the high standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt.