Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Jury Service (Exemptions)

    Mr. Lilley: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor‘s Department how many people summoned for jury trial last year were excused on the basis of the statutory exemption of their profession. [55458]

    Mr. Wills: During the 2001 calendar year, 579,157 summonses were issued by the Jury Central Summoning Bureau. 175,644 (30.3 per cent. of those summoned) people were excused from jury service, of which 32,321 (5.6 per cent. of those summoned) were excused as of right.

    We do not collect statistics of the individual reasons why people are excused by right. We have however taken a three week sample in eight courts to obtain an estimate of the number of excusals. The sample showed that 1.3 per cent. of those summoned were excused on the grounds of their profession. If this figure is accurate then nationally this would equate to under 7,500 of the 579,157 summoned.

    15 May 2002 : Column: 709-10W