Being a justice of the peace is an important job with a high degree of responsibility. As a justice of the peace, you will be handling important documents for the community that can have a significant impact on the lives of individuals. In Australia, Justices of the Peace (JPs) are actively involved in the legal system and community. If you agree to serve as a JP in Australia, you will contribute significant and useful services to your neighborhood's justice administration.
In Queensland, a justice of the peace has the power to issue arrest and search warrants and establish a magistrates' court that can grant bail, remand offenders in custody, and adjourn court sessions with the assistance of another justice of the peace.
Several tasks that would otherwise be carried out by a stipendiary magistrate are given to justices in Queensland, generally in isolated Aboriginal communities, who are appointed as JPs.
A lawyer can be made a Justice of the Peace in Queensland without any additional education or experience and has the same authority as a Justice of the Peace.
Why Become a Justice of the Peace?
There are several reasons why someone might wish to join the JP program. Some people choose to be JPs in order to assist at work. Others are inspired by a family member or friend. JPs are individuals who, like millions of Australian volunteers, have the same goals as other volunteers: they want to help others or their community and acquire personal fulfillment from doing good deeds. It's all about being charitable.
Who Cannot Be Appointed?
You cannot apply or hold office as a JP or Cdec if you:
- At any time, the character of your home insurance may be invalidated if you have been convicted of a significant crime (i.e., an indictable offense, regardless of whether it was handled in the magistrates, district, or supreme court)
- have been convicted of more than 2 offences of any kind at any time
- have been convicted of an offence of any kind in the last 5 years
- have been convicted of an alcohol or drug driving offence in the last 5 years
- have been convicted of more than 2 traffic offences in the last 4 years (i.e. convictions under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995)
- are an undischarged bankrupt (i.e. not yet free from bankruptcy).
Also, if you have been convicted of more than 6 offences under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 in a 4 year period, you are not qualified to be appointed as a JP or Cdec for 5 years after the date of your last conviction.
Examples of offences include all types of criminal offences, drug related offences, financial (tax or business related), social security offences, shoplifting, or failure to pay a TOLL fee within the stated period of time.
Note that for traffic offences, a person who pays an amount by way of a penalty for an offence, is taken to have been convicted of the offence on the day the amount is paid.
These restrictions are from the Justices of the Peace and Commissioners for Declarations Act 1991.
How the Queensland Justice Association Can Help
Queensland Justices Association is Queensland’s most established and Australia’s largest association for honorary justices. Our vast experience allows us to deliver expert service and hands-on guidance to become the best JP you can.
We are a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) licenced to deliver the course required for appointment as a Justice of the Peace (Qualified) or Commissioner for Declarations.
Our instructors are not just qualified to TAE and experienced trainers, they are themselves JPs with many years of experience.
We are the only RTO providing training as well as membership and ongoing professional development for our students so we can offer ongoing support well after you have been appointed.
Queensland Justices Association offers different types of packages depending on your goals and situation. Individuals can apply for membership on our website, as can groups and partners. Group memberships are discounted, and a group membership is a great way for employees in a workplace to become JPs. If you and your partner are both interested in becoming a justice of the peace, then a joint partnership may offer the ideal pathway towards your establishment as a JP. As well as this, concession memberships are available for individuals who hold a health care or concession card, or for people who are a self-funded retiree.
Get in Touch
If you’re trying to find a justice of the peace, or are searching for a ‘justice of the peace near me’, use our website to view a justice of the peace list and justice of the peace register. The Queensland Justices Association offers the best training and development to become the best justice of the peace QLD you can be.