JPs play an essential part in the legal system and in the community in NSW. By volunteering to become a JP you will be providing a valuable and important service to your community or place of employment.
Functions of a Justice of the Peace
The primary functions of a NSW JP are to:
- witness a person making a statutory declaration
- witness a person making an affidavit
- certify that a copy of an original document is a true and accurate copy.
Can I become a Justice of the Peace
To be eligible for appointment as a Justice of the Peace in NSW, you must:
- be at least 18 years of age
- be nominated by a member of the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council (MP or MLC)
- be an Australian citizen or a person who is entitled to vote at a general election for the Legislative Assembly, unless the Attorney General exempts you from having to satisfy this criterion
- be of good character
- consent in writing to confidential inquiries being made as your suitability for appointment, including a criminal records check
- not be an undischarged bankrupt
- establish that your appointment as a justice of the peace is required for your employment or to fulfil a community-based need for the appointment
The Attorney General has issued guidelines about the assessment of eligibility and character. These are contained in the Guidelines on the appointment of Justices of the Peace: assessing eligibility and good character.
The application process
To apply to become a JP for NSW, you need to complete the following steps.
Step 1. Complete the online application
The online application can be found at http://www.onlineservices.jp.nsw.gov.au/apply and asks you some specific questions to assess your eligibility to be appointed as a JP. It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.
Step 2. Print your nomination form and attach your supporting documents
When you have completed your online application, you will then be asked to print your individual nomination form.
The nomination form will indicate which documents you need to provide certified copies of with your application.
It also has a statutory declaration that you must complete, in the presence of a JP.
At this interview you will meet with a member of my staff or myself to discuss the role and your reasons for wanting to become a Justice of the Peace. If my office agrees to nominate you your nomination form and supporting documents will be sent to the Department.
How long does it take?
You should expect to wait a minimum of twelve weeks from the date the NSW MP forwards your application to the Department. This is because assessment of your application requires enquiries about your character, a national criminal records check, and obtaining the approval of the Governor of NSW.
For further information on this process please visit http://www.jp.nsw.gov.au/.