Juries are required in three areas of the courts system:
- Circuit Criminal Courts
- Central Criminal Courts
- High Court (civil actions excluding personal injuries)
Responsibility for jury selection for circuit criminal courts rests with the County Registrar in each of the twenty six counties. Some counties have a very small number of criminal trials every year. As jurors for such trials must be called from the county in which the trial is to be heard, the number of jurors called in some counties is minimal. The majority of jurors, therefore, are summoned in Dublin.
In every county, jury selection is based on the register of electors. The register is provided by the local authority.
Jury selection is made on a four year cyclical basis - that is, jurors called in year one of the cycle will not be called in the following three years.
Summonses are issued to the persons selected six weeks before the date of the court sitting and a certain proportion will reply. Of those who reply, some will have be ineligible, for example, court staff, gardaí. Some will be excusable as of right, for example, over 70 years of age, deaf, illiterate. Some are excused at the discretion of the County Registrar. The rest will agree to serve.
Reminders are issued to those who do not reply.
Further information on jury service is contained in the Jury Service section.