This guidebook provides guidance to those who are participating in a criminal law jury trial in BC Supreme Court. It provides general information about the jury’s role, the jury summoning process, how jurors are selected, the role of juries at trial, how employers should treat jury duty, and what jurors can do when the trial is complete.
Accused – The person charged with a criminal offence who is on trial.
Crown Counsel – The prosecutor in a criminal trial who represents the public interest (the government) and seeks to ensure that justice is done in a fair, impartial, efficient, and respectful manner.
Defendant - An individual, company, or institution who, in a criminal law case, is charged with a crime.
Deliberate – The terms used to describe the process when a jury meets to discuss and make a decision on the case.
Jury Panel – the group of people selected to serve on the jury during a trial.
Sequestered – an isolation of the jury during their deliberations that avoids accidental or deliberate tainting of the jury by exposing them to outside influence or information.
Sheriff – Court officials responsible for security, prisoner transfer, and other processes at a courthouse. Sheriffs are responsible for summoning the jury for a jury trial.
Summons – An order to appear in court.
Testimony – Oral or written evidence given by a witness under oath.
Witness – A person who comes to court to answer questions about a case.