More become eligible for jury service

Judges, politicians, vicars, bishops, doctors and Lords are now able to sit on juries following a shake-up of the system.

The changes to the Criminal Justice Act, which came into force on 2 April, will greatly increase the pool of potential jurors. All registered electors in England and Wales aged between 18 and 70, except people with a mental illness and those convicted of a criminal offence, must now serve if summoned.

Around 480,000 people are summoned for jury service annually, but previously less than half of that amount were eligible.

Courts minister Christopher Leslie said: Expanding the pool of potential jurors ensures that juries better reflect the communities from which they are drawn. This, in turn, should improve public confidence in the criminal justice system.