End doctors exemption from jury service, white paper recommends
- By: Samena Chaudhry
The latest white paper on criminal justice could mean that doctors and medical students in the United Kingdom are no longer automatically excused from being summoned for jury service.
The report proposes to abolish the list of those exempt and excused. Currently, this list includes lawyers, solicitors, barristers, vets, clergy, pharmacists, forensic science laboratory workers, doctors, dentists, and nurses and midwives in private practices. In future, they would be expected to do jury service if summoned, unless they had a good reason.
One area identified as being particularly difficult is that of medical students and junior doctors' training. This could be significantly disrupted if they were obliged to undertake jury service. It would be a particular problem if the trial were lengthy. In some cases, jury service could adversely affect training.
The proposal to abolish the list is one of a number of policies the government is pursuing as part