Have you experienced a harrowing ordeal as a juror?

  • by Rupert Evelyn

You may be asked to look at images of violence you’d never choose to see or examine graphic evidence of child sexual abuse in a detail that you might think should only be done by professionals.

You will do this because it is your civic duty and because you’ve been called up for jury service.

How you deal with your job as a juror is an altogether bigger question. It is fraught with complexity not least because jurors are actively encouraged not to talk about their experience and warned of legal action if they do.

Conversely, talking about an experience that is troubling is so often touted as part of the solution. It is common for institutions and organisations to employ specialists to help their workers deal with traumatic symptoms and situations but jurors do not get such benefits and are instead directed towards their GP or the Samaritans.

In Scotland, where they recognise the health threat to jurors, judges are able to offer the jury a dedicated service to help them in extreme cases.

The evidence suggest that some people will suffer trauma given the evidence, isolation and responsibility placed on juries.

Who is standing up for jurors and how many more people are there living with the consequences of a harrowing ordeal in court?

We would be very keen to hear from anyone who has served on a jury and has had or is concerned about the impact it had on them.

Please contact in total confidence.