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Tuesday, August 8 2006

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Jury Service

Today I went to the city to do my Jury service. I drove to Artarmon and took the train to the city.

Mitsy at Artarmon

I had to go to the Downing Centre in Liverpool St. There is a subtle irony in this.

To enter the Downing Centre, you have to go through a metal detector and bag-xray procedure similar to airport security. I got through without setting off the detector.

Of course, no photography is allowed in the building, so I can only show the outside...

The Downing Centre

Based on my summons, I was expecting a ten-week trial. But when I "checked in", the dude said the trial would be "two to three weeks", so I was quite happy with that.

We assembled in a very large room (the aptly named 'Jury Assembly Room') and there were, I estimate, 90 people - three panels of 30 people each.

My panel was called first to go for a roll call. This was done in a court room where a dude gave us a spiel about how the process works so that we'd know what to do later. At the roll call, a number of people submitted personal applications to be excused from jury duty. I think more than half of the 30 people asked to be excused.

We then went back to the assembly room and the people who had asked to be excused were called up one-by-one to have their applications assessed. I don't know how many succeeded.

After more waiting, the first jury panel was called. Each person is called individually by their number. I was in the first group of 20. We were then taken to the court room for the empanelling.

In the courtroom were the judge, the accused, the barristers for both sides and some miscellaneous dudes. We sat in the back of the court in the public gallery. The judge then told us that the trial would probably only last 5 days!

Then a dude read out the charges and one of the barristers read the names of the witnesses who would be called during the trial. The judge asked if any of us knew the accused or any of the witnesses. We didn't.

Then a dude drew juror numbers randomly from a box and as each number was called, that person went and sat in the jury box - until there were twelve. My number was not drawn. So I and seven others remained unchosen.

Then one of the miscellaneous dudes handed a bible to each of the twelve, and as he did so, paused to allow the barristers to challenge the juror. The defence barrister did challenge three of the jurors, who then had to leave the jury box.

That left three more spots to be filled. So they began drawing numbers from the box again. Again, my number was not drawn, and the three new jurors were not challenged.

So the jury was complete and I was not on it.

Those of us not empanelled were taken back to the assembly room where we had to wait to see if we were required for another trial. After another long wait, we were eventually discharged.

And thus, I fulfilled my civic duty for the time being. I will now be removed from the jury list for twelve months. After that, I may be called again.

It was about 2pm, so I had a late lunch and then went home.

View from the train

Cash Back

When I got home, there was a cheque from the RTA waiting for me! It's the refund of my motorway tolls. I will have to show this to Mother as she didn't believe that the government would refund the tolls.

This refund only covers a short period as I started near the end of the cycle. Normally the amount will be larger.


Today is census day.

Census form

In the evening, I filled in the form. I made myself "Person 1" and Yuko "Person 2".

Here's an example question...


We both agreed to have our details made public in 2105.

From Message
Matthew Wadwell
5648 Days Ago
So Peter,
Were your work collegues surprised when you were back in less than "5 to 10 years"?

From Message
5648 Days Ago
Very surprised.

BTW: Have you got your payment summary yet? I'm still waiting for mine from your employer.

From Message
Matthew Wadwell
5647 Days Ago
G'Day Peter,

With regards to the "payment summary" - are you referring to the group certificate you need to complete your tax return?

If so, then I'd suggest you speak to HR - as I recieved mine over a month ago.....

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