“In my opinion full-time students with disabilities should be exempt from jury service”, writes a Hastings reader.

From: Daniel Burton, Battle Road, St Leonards on Sea

Friday, 7th January 2022, 9:36 am
Lewes Crown Court

I am writing to raise my concerns to your readers about the exemptions of individuals who are summoned for jury service. You might be aware that according to the GOV.UK website there is only one group of people who are exempt from jury service, which are individuals who claim Carers Allowance.

This does not include unpaid carers or the disabled persons themselves. As of 2020, Carers UK estimated that there were around 13.6 million people caring, many of these will not be able to claim Carers Allowance due to a mixture of reasons. For example, being retired exempts you from claiming Careers Allowance.

I would like to conclude that jury service becomes “non-compulsory” from the age of 75 onwards, but I am concerned about individuals who are retired and under this age who care for other people.

I am currently a Media student with autism and special needs who is based at a local Six-Form-College. Due to me being over the age of eighteen, I could be called for jury duty and this is also the case for my colleagues who are over the age of eighteen and have special needs.

I am very concerned about this issue. I am concerned that any individual who gets called for jury service while still being in full time education could get behind with their work while being away from campus and doing jury duty. In my opinion, full time students with disabilities should be exempt from jury service, due to them being able to skip the duty if called, so they can focus on their education.

I am going to be writing to Sally-Ann-Hart the MP for Hastings and Rye who is also the Deputy Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on SEND.

Please send your letters to [email protected] Letters must be accompanied by a full name and address. Anonymous letters are never printed. We reserve the right to edit letters for any reason.