London mayor Sadiq Khan called for jury service

'It's important that everyone eligible plays their part,' Mayor of London says 

Zamira Rahim
Friday 28 September 2018 17:13 BST
Mr Khan will spend at least two weeks on jury duty
Mr Khan will spend at least two weeks on jury duty (PA)

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, will briefly step away from his role to undertake jury service from Monday.

"Jurors have a vital role in our legal system, and it’s important that everyone eligible plays their part. Jury service depends on people from all backgrounds giving up their time," Mr Khan said in a statement posted on his Facebook page.

Any citizens in the UK can be selected for jury duty if they are over 18. registered to vote and have lived in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least five years since the age of 13.

Penalties for avoiding the civic duty without permission are high and prospective jurors could face up to £1,000 in fines if they fail to turn up at court.

Although the Jury Central Summoning Bureau will consider applications for jurors to be "excused", this is only considered in exceptional circumstances.

Jury service usually lasts for ten working days but can last longer.

Public figures undertaking the ordinary civic duty often cause a disruption at court but are not automatically excused because of their fame.

Barack Obama attended jury service in the US in late 2017, confusing court clerks and fellow jurors in Chicago.

In 2010, a British judge reprimanded an international footballer who argued that he was too well known to sit on a jury.

"Jury service is an important public duty everyone has to do, including judges, however well-known they are," Judge Francis Gilbert QC told Carl Fletcher, according to SWNS.

”Lots of well-known people, some more famous than you, have been required to sit on juries.”

Mr Khan has pledged to work on any days where he is not required to be on jury service.

He has also said that he will stay in touch with his team throughout the time he is away from his office in City Hall.

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