Jury Selection

What is a jury panel?

A jury panel is summoned to provide a pool of potential jurors for upcoming trials. A panel can remain active for up to six months. Jury selections for criminal trials are attended by the person accused of an offence, defence counsel (the lawyer representing the accused), Crown counsel (the lawyer who prosecutes the case) and court staff.

How many people make up a jury?

For each criminal trial, 12 jurors are chosen. Jury selection for civil trials is similar with 7 jurors selected.

I've been selected for a jury panel. Do I have to attend?

The Jury Act does allow for exemptions based on extraordinary circumstances. All requests for exemptions must be made well in advance of the jury selection date. As outlined in the summons return, some people may be disqualified from jury duty. The summons also outlines exemptions that may apply for some potential jurors.

Criteria for exemptions granted may include being over age 65, being a student, health reasons or extreme financial hardship. Some exemptions may be granted by mail.

Do employers need to give employee time off for jury duty?

Yes, employers must give employees time off to attend jury selection and to serve as jurors. However, employers are not legally obligated to pay employees for lost time.

How much are selected jurors paid?

Selected jurors are paid $25, per one-half day and travel costs, as set out in the Court Fees Act.