Jury duty is everyone's legal responsibility and requires the cooperation of employers, the Government and the community to ensure this vital part of the justice system functions correctly within our democracy.
Jurors may be able to defer their initial jury duty for up to six months to assist them address any serious inconvenience or hardship.
This flexibility reduces the strain placed on our jury system and ensures this important part of our justice system is shared with all members of the community. Therefore, a person summoned for jury duty can apply to postpone their jury service to a more suitable date. This is a process the juror must apply to do well in advance of the date they are initially summoned for jury duty.
You may apply for consideration to defer your jury service if you:
- will face hardship as a result of your business or occupation.
- have special or pressing commitments.
- have health issues.
- your family or the general public would face undue hardship or serious inconvenience if you attended jury service.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for a deferral of jury service?Show more
When applying to defer your jury service you are required to nominate your alternative earliest available attendance date, starting on a Monday. The date nominated must be within six months of the original date of summons.
It is important to remember:
- to take the time to consider your alternative proposed date carefully, as legislation only permits one deferral.
- deferral applications must be made 14 days prior to the summoned date.
- if your deferral is approved, a letter of confirmation will be sent to you as a reminder of your commitment.
- you will be issued with a new summons approximately four weeks prior to the date nominated, subject to trial listings for your location.
If you have difficulties submitting your application within the set time frame please contact the issuing court for guidance. Perth District and Supreme courts have regular weekly trial activity, with an annual recess between Christmas and New Year as well as a two week mid-year break. Please contact jury services for guidance of these dates.
Regional courts have less frequent trial activity, and therefore your deferred summons will be issued for the next available court sitting date after the date you nominated. Please contact the issuing court for guidance of these dates.
When completing a Statutory Declaration for jury service deferral please ensure the address declared on the statutory declaration is your current address, even if it differs to the address stated on your summons.
It is important to make all necessary arrangements to ensure you comply with attendance on the alternative nominated date. A person cannot defer more than once and failure to attend any date summoned may result in an $800 infringement.
When your application for deferral is approved you will be sent a confirmation letter with the date you have nominated. It is your responsibility to ensure that you remember this commitment and not plan other commitments at the same time.
If you have any concerns about the nominated date selected by you, please contact the issuing court immediately. There may be an opportunity to adjust your nominated date if the summons has not been issued and the proposed new date remains within the six month allowable period. Changes to your nominated date cannot be made after the new summons has been issued.
Who is not eligible for jury service/duty?Show more
In accordance with Schedule 1 Division 1 you are also not eligible to serve as a juror on a criminal or civil trial if you are:
- Vice regal and parliamentary officers - the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor or an administrator administering the government of the State or a deputy of the Governor, a member of Parliament of Western Australia, the Clerk or Deputy Clerk of the Legislative Council or Legislative Assembly, Clerk Assistant, Usher of the Black Rod, or Sergeant-at-Arms of the Parliament of Western Australia.
- Judicial and court officers - A person who is or holds an appointment to act in an office of any of the following - a judge, auxiliary judge, commissioner, master or registrar of the Supreme Court or an associate to any such officer, a judge, auxiliary judge or registrar of District Court or an associate to any such officer, a judge of the Family Court of WA, a magistrate, registrar or judicial support officer of the Magistrates court, a judge, magistrate, registrar or judicial support officer of the Children’s Court or an associate to a judge of the Court, the State Coroner or Deputy State Coroner or a coroner appointed under the Coroners Act 1996, a commissioner of the WA Industrial Relations Commission, appointed under the Industrial Relations Act 1979, the sheriff, a summoning officer.
- Australian legal practitioners - A person who is an Australian legal practitioner as defined by the Legal Profession Act 2008.
In accordance with Schedule 1 Division 2 You are not eligible to serve as a juror on a criminal trial if you are:
- Public officers - A person who is any of the following - an authorised officer as defined in the Corruption and Crime Commission Act 2003 section 184(1), the Parliamentary Inspector of the Corruption and Crime Commission, or an acting Parliamentary Inspector of the Corruption and Crime Commission, appointed under the Corruption and Crime Commission Act 2003, an officer of the Parliamentary Inspector, as defined in the Corruption and Crime Commission Act 2003 section 3(1).
- WA Police - Commissioner of Police, a person appointed under the Police Act part 1, a special constable, an Aboriginal police liaison officer or a police auxiliary officer appointed under the Police Act part 3 or a police cadet employed by the Commissioner of Police.
If you are not eligible, you must complete a detailed statutory declaration, located on the back of the summons and return to the summoning court prior to the summoned date.
Who is not qualified to undertake jury service/duty?Show more
Some people may not be qualified for Jury duty. People not qualified to serve as a juror include people who:
- were imprisoned and the term exceeded 2 years.
- have been the subject of a sentence of imprisonment or been on parole in Western Australia(WA) or elsewhere in the last five years.
- were convicted of two or more offences the statutory penalty for which is, or includes, imprisonment in WA in the last five years.
- are on bail or awaiting trial or sentencing.
- were convicted in a WA court of three or more road traffic offences in the last five years (excludes infringements paid prior to court).
- have been found guilty of an offence and detained in an institution for juvenile offenders in WA or elsewhere in the last five years.
- have been the subject of a probation or community order or an order having similar effect made by any court in the last five years.
- are an involuntary patient as defined by the Mental Health Act*. An involuntary patient as defined by the Mental Health Act means a person who is the subject of:
- an order under section 43(2)(a), 49(3)(a), 50 or 70(1) for detention of the person in an authorised hospital as an involuntary patient; or
- a community treatment order.
- are a represented person of the Guardianship and Administration Act. A represented person as defined by the Guardianship and Administration Act means any person in respect of whom:
- a guardianship order is in force
- an administration order is in force or
- both a guardianship order and an administration order are in force.
- are a mentally impaired accused as defined by the Criminal Law Act*. A mentally impaired accused as defined by the Criminal Law Act means an accused in respect of whom a custody order has been made and who has not been discharged from the order.
- are a person under the Criminal Law Act who is not mentally fit to stand trial*. A person who is not mentally fit to stand trial as defined by the Criminal Law Act is:
- unable to understand the nature of the charge
- unable to understand the requirement to plead to the charge or the effect of a plea
- unable to understand the purpose of a trial
- unable to understand or exercise the right to challenge jurors
- unable to follow the course of the trial
- unable to understand the substantial effect of evidence presented by the prosecution in the trial or
- unable to properly defend the charge.
Even if a person is not qualified to undertake jury service/duty they must complete a detailed statutory declaration, located on the back of the summons and return to the summoning court prior to the summoned date.
If a person is not qualified to undertake jury service on the grounds of physical or mental disability, they must attach a medical certificate with the detailed statutory declaration.
*A carer or guardian may complete the statutory declaration on behalf of a summoned person.
You may seek to be excused from jury duty if you:
- fall under the Jury Exemption Act 1965.
- were summoned and attended jury duty in the last five years in WA, subject to Court requirements.
- are a person with a physical or mental disability/impairment*.
- do not understand spoken or written English*.
- are a person who may not be indifferent between the parties in a trial.
- do not reside in the district concerned.
- are a practising Australian legal practitioner (to be considered practising you must hold a current practising certificate).
* A friend or relative may complete the statutory declaration on behalf of a summonsed person.
Medical condition, physical or mental disability exemptionShow more
If you are seeking an excusal from jury duty on the grounds of a physical or mental disability or a serious or permanent medical condition, you must attach a medical certificate to a detailed statutory declaration. The medical certificate must detail the duration of your condition as this will determine if an excusal or deferral can be granted.
If the condition preventing you from undertaking jury service/duty is likely to be resolved within a six month period then you can defer jury duty until you are well enough to serve. State your reasons for a deferral on the statutory declaration on the back of your summons. You are not required to provide a doctors certificate.
If your condition is likely to go beyond a six month period, you must provide a medical certificate that clearly details the duration of your condition and contains words that express your inability to serve as a juror during this time. Please provide the medical certificate together with a detailed statutory declaration, located on the back of your summons. Under these circumstances no deferral date is necessary.
If you are seeking a permanent excusal from jury duty on the grounds of a 'permanent' medical condition or physical or mental disability that prevents you serving effectively as a juror then you must provide a medical certificate from your doctor. This medical certificate must clearly detail that you are permanently unfit for jury service.
The Permanent Exemption Information Sheet can be downloaded from the download link below and will provide you with a guide to what information must be provided in a medical certificate. Attach your medical certificate to your statutory declaration, on the back of your summons, and return to the summoning court prior to the summoned date.
All declarations must be lodged with the WA Sheriff's Office or the relevant summonsing court by mail, email or fax 14 days before the summoned date.