What to expect on your first day
What should I wear/bring?
There is no formal dress code for the Coroner's court. However, the family of the person who has died will be there and we ask jurors to dress reasonably smartly out of respect. It is not necessary to wear a suit - normal smart casual clothes are fine.
Please bring photo identification on the first day. If you do not have photo ID, bring a utility bill or bank statement showing your name and address.
There is often some waiting around, so you may want to bring a book or something to help pass the time. We will provide tea, coffee and water. You can bring a packed lunch if you wish, or there are cafes nearby.
Where should I come?
You will be asked to either attend the Coroners Office, Court House Street, Pontypridd. Directions are given on our 'How to find us' page. Upon arrival, you will be directed to the Courtroom where your duties and role will be explained.
Could I be stood down?
A Coroner's jury consists of between 7 and 11 people. We always call more than 11 jurors to allow for sickness or last minute problems. Therefore some jurors will be stood down and will not need to serve on that day. We will ask for volunteers. If it would be very inconvenient for you to be stood down - for example, if you have already rearranged your roster at work - we will not choose you.
You will also be stood down if you have a conflict of interest with the case being heard. For example, you may work for a hospital or a police force that is involved, or you may know one of the witnesses.
If you are stood down, we will pay any loss of earnings or travel expenses for the day you attended. You will be recalled on another date to fulfil your obligation to serve.
Once the members of the jury have been finalised, you will be shown through to the courtroom. You will need to take an oath or affirmation that you will give a true verdict at the inquest according to the evidence. You can do this on the holy book of your choice or in a non-religious way.
Starting the case
The Coroner will begin the inquest by explaining what an inquest is in law and giving a summary of the facts of the case. This is not part of the evidence, but is simply to set the scene.
He will explain some very important rules for jurors. It is vital that you do not discuss the case with anyone else, including your family or partner. You must not do independent research, for example on the internet. You must not attempt to communicate with anyone involved. If you do, it may affect the case and may even mean it has to be stopped and restarted with a new jury. You may also face penalties. Please take the Coroner's directions on these issues very seriously.
Once the Coroner has given his introduction, he will call the first witness and the evidence will begin.