There are three jury districts in South Australia - Adelaide, Port Augusta and Mount Gambier. Jurors are chosen by a random computer selection from the electoral rolls which constitute the jury districts. Any person aged between 18 years and 70 years and enrolled on the electoral rolls for the jury districts is qualified and liable to be summonsed to attend for jury service.
The Juries Act provides that jurors must be chosen for service by a random ballot. People are unable to volunteer to do jury duty.
People who are disqualified from serving as a juror
Persons who have been convicted of a criminal offence may be disqualified from performing jury duty. The disqualification depends on the type of offence and when the person was convicted. Disqualification periods range from five years to lifetime. If you have any doubts about being qualified, please contact the Sheriff’s Office.
People who are ineligible to serve as a juror
The Juries Act provides that the following persons are not eligible for jury service:-
- Persons who are mentally or physically unfit to carry out the duties of a juror. This includes persons who suffer from hearing loss or any other medical condition which may affect their jury service
- Persons who have insufficient command of the English language to enable them to properly carry out the duties of a juror
- Persons who fall within the following categories:
- the Governor, the Lieutenant-Governor and their spouses
- members of Parliament
- members of the judiciary and their spouses
- Justices of the Peace who perform court duties and their spouses
- legal practitioners actually practising as such
- members of the Police Force and their spouses
- persons employed in a department of the Government whose duties of office are connected with the investigation of offences, the administration of justice or the punishment of offenders
- persons employed in the administration of courts or in the recording or transcription of evidence taken before the courts.
Any person who is summonsed for jury service and considers he or she not eligible must claim ineligibility by completing an application form by explaining the reasons for their application. This must be completed as soon as possible after receiving the jury summons and returned along with any supporting documentation to the Sheriff’s Office.