Eligibility for Jury Service and Disqualification from Jury Service

Information Sheet 1
This information sheet deals with eligibility for jury service and exemptions from jury service because of professional or criminal background. It includes links to relevant legislation.

Eligibility for jury service

Eligibility for jury service is dealt with in section 23DH of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976.

In general terms, a person is eligible for jury service in the Federal Court of Australia if their name is on the jury roll for the relevant jury district and they are entitled to vote at elections for Members of the House of Representatives.

Exemption from jury service: employment background

Some people are exempt from jury service in the Federal Court of Australia because of their professional background. The exemptions are in the:


The Federal Court of Australia Act

Section 23DJ identifies six categories of people who are exempt from jury service in the Federal Court of Australia:

  • the Governor or Administrator of a state or territory
  • a judge or judicial officer of a state or territory court
  • a member of the Parliament or Legislative Assembly of a state or territory
  • a legal practitioner who holds a practising certificate under state or territory law
  • a person whose duties or activities are connected with:
  • the investigation or prosecution of crime
  • the administration of justice or
  • the punishment of offenders, and
  • a person who is exempt from jury service under a state or territory law on the basis that their current duties or activities are connected with public administration or emergency services.

If you fall into one of these categories, and you think you may be exempt from jury service on that basis, you should read section 23DJ of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 for more information.

If you think you may be excluded from jury service under state or territory law on the basis that your current duties or activities are connected with public administration or emergency service you should check the relevant state or territory legislation:

The Jury Exemption Act

The schedule to the Jury Exemption Act 1965 identifies nine categories of people who are exempt from jury service in any court in Australia:

  • the Governor-General
  • members of the Federal Executive Council
  • Justices of the High Court and the Commonwealth courts
  • Senators
  • Members of the House of Representatives
  • members of the Fair Work Commission
  • members and special members of the Australian Federal Police
  • members of the Defence Force other than members of the Reserves, and
  • members of the Reserves who are rendering continuous full-time service.

If you fall into one of these categories, and you think you may be exempt from jury service on that basis, you should read the schedule to the Jury Exemption Act 1965 for more information.

The Jury Exemption Regulations

The Jury Exemption Regulations 2019 identifies four categories of Commonwealth employees who are potentially exempt from jury service:

  • senior Commonwealth employees (see Regulation 7)
  • Commonwealth employees involved in the administration of justice (see Regulation 8)
  • Commonwealth employees working on biosecurity etc. (see Regulation 9), and
  • some Commonwealth employees working for key institutions (see Regulation 10).

If you fall into one of these categories, and you think you may be exempt from jury service on that basis, you should read the Jury Exemption Regulations 2019 for more information.

The Navigation Act

Section 89 of the Navigation Act 2012 provides that a seafarer of a regulated Australian vessel or a foreign vessel is exempt from serving as a juror in any court of Australia.
For more information, read section 89 of the Navigation Act 2012.

Disqualification: criminal history

Some people are excluded from jury service in the Federal Court of Australia because they have a criminal background or they are the subject of current criminal proceedings.

The exclusions are set out in section 23DI of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976.

Note that not every person who has a criminal record is excluded from jury service.

If you think you may be excluded from jury service on the basis of a criminal background or current proceedings, you should read section 23DI of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 for more information.

Further information

You can contact the Sheriff of the Federal Court by:

Last updated: May 2019