The HMCTS guidance on jury service states that excusal should be given to:

members of generic or secular organisations, whose ideology, or beliefs are incompatible with jury service

I am aware of religious groups that have issues with jury service, but was intrigued by the notion of secular, organisations who are ideologically opposed to jury service. Do any such organisations exist, or was HMCTS merely preparing for an eventuality?

  • 1
    I think the basic premise is that personal conviction is not enough, you have to demonstrate it, and belonging to such a group shows that. Hence not either of your cases per se, rather a limitation on personal conviction. – user19831 Apr 17 '19 at 22:34
  • Anarchists are definitely opposed to jury service, but I couldn't find any evidence of them being excused from jury duty. – default locale Apr 19 '19 at 11:09
  • What is the HMCTS? – Trilarion Jun 15 '19 at 22:13
  • @Trilarion "Her Majesty's Courts & Tribunals Service". The HM/"Her Majesty's" part is fairly a common prefix for state institutions/possessions in the UK, for example: Her Majesty's Ship (e.g. HMS Enterprise) in the names of Royal Navy ships, Her Majesty's Prison (e.g. HMP Durham), and even "HM Government" for the entire British Government. – owjburnham Jun 16 '19 at 12:25

This appears to be general guidance that, if your beliefs are incompatible with jury service, you may be excused.

The obvious political group that is secular but incompatible with jury is certain forms of Anarchism, which believe that the state should have no role in enforcing justice. A committed anarchist may well disrupt the deliberation process if she refuses to consider the evidence and will only consider a "not-guilty" verdict.

The guidance is that summoning officers can use their judgement in this situation. A person whose beliefs are incompatible should not be compelled to sit on a jury, and the guidance merely notes that these beliefs do not have to be religious in nature.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .