Town mouse on jury service

This week, I’ve got jury service. In the lottery of life, I’ve got away without doing it before. When the letter arrived last year, I applied to put off the evil day (or fortnight), but you can only postpone once, and the time has now arrived.

I find that attitudes to jury service are revealing. One friend said that he couldn’t possibly manage to fit it in, and obtained a letter from the doctor to let him off. Another simply failed to answer the summons. Presumably, the authorities thought he had moved house because he wasn’t asked again. Mentioning these strategies to others of my acquaintance has sparked outrage. ‘But it’s your duty as a citizen,’ they say. ‘Besides,’ they continue optimistically, ‘you might enjoy it.’

I am buoyed by the words of a barrister friend. The crown court that I must attend is Southwark; he assures me that it has a very good class of trial ‘West End cases,’ as he puts it. It makes jury service sound like a musical, although without a plot or interaction with the other players. I just hope the case isn’t fraud. However entertaining the novelty, six months of it would pall.