Offences that can be committed by jurors
Produced in partnership with Steven Bird of Birds Solicitors
Offences that can be committed by jurors

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with Steven Bird of Birds Solicitors provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Offences that can be committed by jurors
  • Provision of information to jurors
  • Failure to attend, serving while disqualified
  • Offences under JA 1974, ss 20A–20D
  • Research by jurors
  • Sharing research with other jurors
  • Engaging in other prohibited conduct
  • Disclosing jury's deliberations
  • Exceptions to the offence of disclosing jury's deliberations
  • Exceptions for soliciting disclosures or obtaining information
  • More...

The range of offences which a juror can commit in relation to a trial he/she is trying was increased with the introduction of four offences into the Juries Act 1974 (JA 1974) by the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 (CJCA 2015). The existing offences under the JA 1974 and the offence of contempt of court remain available to those investigating jury irregularities and misdemeanours. For further information on jury irregularities, see Practice Note: Dealing with jury irregularities.

The Criminal Practice Directions (CPD) reflect the offences contained in the JA 1974, ss 20A–20D and the associated repeal of section 8 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 (CCA 1981).

Provision of information to jurors

Before a prospective juror sits on a jury, the court officer must arrange for each juror to receive general information about jury service and about a juror's responsibilities. The Criminal Procedure Rules 2020, SI 2020/759 (CrimPR) provides that jurors must be informed that:

  1. they must not discuss the case with someone who is not a member of the jury

  2. they must not make enquiries into the circumstances of a case, or into the parties, beyond what is described in evidence, and

  3. breach of those prohibitions is a contempt of court, for which the juror can be imprisoned, or fined, or both

In A-G v Fraill; R v Knox contact between a juror and the

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