Thinking about becoming a JP?

becoming a jp

Thinking about becoming a JP?

[Updated 23rd of February, 2023]

Well, you’re not alone.

Every month dozens of people sign up to take the course and become a JP. It’s a rewarding role to take on in your local community, it means you’ll get to be a part of people’s lives at some of the most important moments; marriage, divorce, buying a home, getting a passport. All these big moments require paperwork to be signed and certified.  

What can JP do? 

A Justice of the Peace does a lot more than just certify copies of your ID.

A Justice of the Peace (Qualified) can:  

  • Witness oaths or affidavits 
  • Take statutory declarations and affirmations 
  • Witness signatures 
  • Attest the execution of a document 
  • Certify a true copy of an original document 
  • Issue search warrants 
  • Issue arrest warrants 
  • Grant bail. 

Who can become a JP?  

Not just anyone can become a JP, you’ll need to be of high moral character.  

To enrol to become a JP, you must be:

  • be an Australian citizen 
  • be at least 18 years old 
  • be of good character 
  • be registered on the Queensland electoral roll 
  • have completed the relevant training–Course in Providing Community Justice Services (Commissioner for Declarations) (Justice of the Peace [Qualified]). 

To hold office as a JP, you need to be an upstanding community member. There are certain stipulations.  

You cannot apply or hold office as a JP or Cdec if you: 

  • have been convicted of a serious offence at any time (i.e. an indictable offence, irrespective of whether it was dealt with 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 four-year period, you are not qualified to be appointed as a JP or CDEC for 5 years after the date of your last conviction. 

You can read up on all the rules and stipulations around holding office as a JP here 

What do you need to be a good JP? 

Justices of the Peace need to be attentive, with an excellent eye for detail.

As a JP you’ll be helping people during some of the most stressful moments of their lives, during divorces, property deals and marriages.

You need to be sensitive but also attune to the task at hand. It’s easy for someone to miss a spot where a signature is required. As JP you’ll be need to be thorough so that doesn’t happen.  

Why do people become a JP?  

There is no financial reward to being a JP.

A Justice of the Peace must complete a specific number of community service hours each year to maintain their office. This means they are volunteers.

People undertake the office of Justice of the Peace because they want to serve their community. Becoming a JP can also look good on your resume or be an excellent extra service to offer to get extra foot traffic through your store.

Who becomes a Justice of the Peace?  

All kinds of people are completing the course and applying to hold office as a Justice of the Peace.

Retirees who want to give back to their community, people starting out in their career looking to establish community connections and a trustworthy reputation.  

There are lots of people who work in fields where holding office as a JP can be advantageous.

For example, people who work in law enforcement often apply to become JPs as they can then officiate documents as needed at work.

Realtors often become JPs to assist their clients with paperwork.

Lawyers and those working in the law world often need the services of a JP, so many legal secretaries and law professionals become JPs. 

Accountants also require the services of a JP for specific accounts.  

How does the JP course work?

The Justice of Peace course can be delivered either through a face-to-face workshop or an online, self-paced course.  

The face-to-face workshop is delivered over two days at our North Lakes, Logan or Gold Coast offices. Once you’ve completed the two days in-person, you complete the rest of your written assessments online at home.  

We have found through regular feedback that most people prefer attending the workshop to doing it all online. Coming into the two-day workshop gives people the chance to work through practical activities with trainer support, discuss concepts with their class mates and come to a more full and complete understanding of the course material.  

Completing the course online does give you some freedom to do the course in your own time. You have 28 days to complete your first attempt at all assessment tasks. 

Ready to start your JP journey?

Find out more about becoming a Justice of the Peace or Commissioner for Declarations.

Complete your course entirely from home or come along to one of our face to face workshops!

Contact our team to discuss any questions you have or to enrol today.

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