Ever since judges lost their exemption from doing jury service, members of the bench have struggled to find inventive reasons to avoid it — but Judge Keith Cutler’s excuse will take some beating.

The resident judge of Winchester and Salisbury has been excused from a stint on jury service after it became clear that he was to be the judge on the same case.

At first even that clear breach of the principles of natural justice was not enough. Judge Cutler replied to the jury summons by pointing out that he was listed to be the judge in the trial but was told that his reason was not a sufficiently strong excuse.


12 thoughts on “Snigger”

  1. I would have done it anyway and continually walked from the bench to the jury and back, the whole trial.

  2. Rob – I feel sure that if this wasn’t a gentle Ealing comedy starring Alec Guinness, it should’ve been.

  3. The best method for avoiding jury service is to write back an enthusiastic letter pointing out how much of a right-wing crime and punishment nut you are, and explaining how much you’re looking forward to “righting a few rounds”.

  4. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Brilliant idea, you could do it like a quick change artist: on the jury bench in civvies and then magically appearing behind the judge’s desk in gown, wig and black cap.

  5. I was called a number of years ago. You had the option to defer for a year if you had a good reason.
    Why didn’t this judge guy just defer for a year citing being the judge on the case? Or just get a different judge appointed to it?

    Besides, I was granted the deferral, then was never called back a year later – probably due to public sector incompetence.
    Or do as Interested says, write back saying “Don’t worry, I’ll find him/her/it guilty for you.”

  6. Last time I was called for jury duty, I wrote back and told them they couldn’t afford me as I’m a self-employed IT contractor.

    Not heard from them since.

  7. As the judge and the jury in the case, I declare this defendant innocent.

    Surely the Goons or Beachcomber or APHerbert covered this eventuality

  8. @Diogenes April 17, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    Isn’t that how it is done in EU (minus UK & RoI) and a lot of RoW?

    Blair was slowly introducing it in UK too – cases too complicated for juries and too expensive & slow

  9. @Rob April 17, 2019 at 9:20 am

    +1 That was my thought too: imagine the efficiency and productivity gains

    To add a twist, he could have sat in jury reading a book, then jailed himself for contempt

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