A hundred years ago June 9, 1921 Archives

From the Archives (June 9, 1921): Payment for jurors

Jurors are not paid for their work, which is generally regarded as a privilege and even a duty attaching to their citizenship. They may be kept hanging about a court for several days to the complete dislocation of their business. The rigid rule of punctual attendance and the monotony of trials often cause great hardship. It is stated that the Special Juror in the United Kingdom is more or less “adequately rewarded,” with the fee of a guinea for each suit to which he listens, but the Common Juror is a “very long suffering individual”. A private member’s Bill in the House of Commons seeks to sanction the payment of expenses which Common Jurors incur in the discharge of their duties. There is no idea of paying any remuneration for his work and the proposal is merely to reimburse his out-of-pocket expenses. Jury service is generally not popular and it may grow more and more unpopular if it should involve personal expense. It stands to reason that the honorary worker in the great cause of Justice should not be victimised in his pocket for the common good. The success of the private member’s Bill will be watched with wide interest since none would like honorary work becoming a source of expenditure.

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