What is a jury?

A jury consists of 12 people (criminal) or 7 people (civil) who are selected to hear the evidence in a trial and then render a verdict. The role of the jury is to make all necessary findings of fact on the evidence heard, and to then apply the law as instructed by the Judge in reaching a verdict. Only the Supreme Court conducts jury trials.

Who can serve on a jury?

In Nova Scotia, anyone can be a juror if you are a Canadian citizen and 18 years or older ..... UNLESS .....

~ you have been convicted of a crime and have been sentenced to two or more years in prison
~ you have attended or are attending a law school
~ you work in the administration of justice (for example, a police officer or an employee of the provincial or federal Departments of Justice)
~ you are a Member of the House of Commons, the Senate, the Province's House of Assembly or the Lieutenant Governor
~ you are an officer or non-commissioned member of the reserve Armed Forces on active service or an officer or non-commissioned member of the regular Armed Forces or special Armed Forces


May I be excused from serving?

Some reasons why you may be
excused or deferred .....

Medical reasons
Financial hardship
Serious inconvenience
Travel plans
70 years of age or older

If you are a doctor, dentist, or member of the clergy, you are not automatically exempt but you may apply to be excused.

The Jury Coordinator has the authority to excuse people, without them having to appear, for other reasons as well; for example, on the basis of hardship or illness. The Jury Coordinator can also defer someone to the next jury selection date on the basis of inconvenience. If the Jury Coordinator does not excuse or defer someone as requested, then the Judge presiding over the jury selection process may also excuse a prospective juror for other reasons.

Why was I picked?

Your name was selected from names taken from the Health Registration List. Every year, approximately 15,000 names and addresses (only) are randomly selected from the Health Department's database. If you are one of the 15,000 and then receive a summons to appear for jury selection, it does not mean that you will necessarily sit on a jury. But it does mean that, unless you are excused by the Jury Coordinator, you must report for jury selection. And, unless you are excused by the presiding Judge, you will have to take part in the jury selection process. At that point, it will be up to the lawyers involved in the case to either accept or reject you as a juror.

"Jury Fees"

If you are required to attend court for jury selection and you live more than 100 kilometres away, you will be paid 20 cents per kilometre to and from the courthouse.

If you are selected to sit on a jury, you will be paid $40.00 per day while serving. You will also be paid 20 cents per kilometre to and from the courthouse and for your parking.

Prospective jurors are drawn from specific geographic regions of the Province to serve in these areas.
Victoria and Cape Breton Counties
Inverness County
Richmond County
Antigonish and Guysborough Counties
Pictou County
Halifax Regional Municipality
Colchester County
Cumberland County
Kings and Hants Counties
Annapolis County
Digby County
Lunenburg and Queens Counties
Shelburne County
Yarmouth County

Do I have to serve?

Jury Duty Information & Forms Package

The information sheets and forms linked-to below are sent to prospective jurors who are summoned to attend for jury selection.

Instructions For People Who Receive a Summons >>

Notice For People Who Receive a Summons >>

Frequently Asked Questions >>

Acts And Regulations Governing Jury Duty >>

An Example Of The Summons >>

Application Form For Request To Be Excused >>

Certificate Needed For Medical Exemption >>


Cette information est aussi disponible en français

en français ici >>

Jury duty is governed by the JURIES ACT OF NOVA SCOTIA >> Section 24(2) of the Act stipulates that .....

Every person who
(a) is required to complete and return a juror information form and, without reasonable excuse, fails to do so;
(b) without reasonable excuse, gives false or misleading information in a juror information form or in an application to be excused from service as a juror;
(c) is summoned to attend and, without reasonable excuse, fails to obey the summons or fails to answer when called by the jury co-ordinator; or
(d) contravenes any other provision of this Act,
is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a penalty of not more than one thousand dollars.


I still have some questions .....

Call the Jury Coordinator at the courthouse nearest you. His or her name and phone number is on the Juror Summons.

You can also call the courthouse nearest you. For contact information and maps for the Province's courthouses, CLICK HERE >>


The information provided on this page and on the rest of this website is not intended to constitute legal advice.
If you have legal questions, please consult with a lawyer.