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Department of Justice

Justice of the Peace appointments


How does someone become a Justice of the Peace

To ascertain your eligibility for appointment as a Justice of the Peace in Tasmania please read the following:

Eligibility requirements that must be met

To become a Justice of the Peace applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • be an Australian citizen by birth, descent or naturalisation;
  • consent to confidential enquiries being made to determine suitability for appointment (this may include an interview by Tasmania Police);
  • be enrolled as an elector for the State of Tasmania;
  • not be less than 18 years of age;
  • not be an undischarged bankrupt;
  • be able to competently carry out the duties of the office;
  • not be convicted of any offences beyond minor traffic offences, subject to the discretion of the Attorney-General (an applicant should not have more than four minor traffic offences in the past ten years or more than one drink driving offence in the past five years - for any such offence the reading must not exceed 0.1%);
  • not be a person engaged in any occupation or employment which could cause a conflict between their business or other interests and their duties and responsibilities as a Justice of the Peace; and
  • have successfully completed the Justice of the Peace Introductory Course undertaken by the Justices of the Peace Association of Tasmania.

It is the policy of the Government that Justices of the Peace will only be appointed if there is an identified need.

Should you wish to proceed, a written request to be appointed must be forwarded to:

The Secretary

Department of Justice

GPO BOX 825

HOBART  TAS  7001

The written request must demonstrate the needs of the locality or residence / place of business for a Justice of the Peace.

The Department of Justice will then forward an official application form.  The form requires the applicant to provide the following details:

  • employment history;
  • residential address;
  • financial history;
  • confirmation of Australian citizenship by birth, descent or naturalisation;
  • two character referees;
  • educational qualifications;
  • identification of any prior applications lodged to become a Justice of the Peace;
  • reason for requesting appointment as a Justice of the peace; and
  • information on any condition that could prevent you from competently fulfilling the duties of a Justice of the Peace.

What happens next with an application

Requests to be appointed as a Justice of the Peace are not automatically approved.   Appointments are only supported where they meet the needs criteria as established by Government and the person is suitably qualified.   This includes a requirement in the locality for the witnessing of warrants, oaths, affirmations, complaints and certifications.

Applications are acknowledged and assessed by the Department of Justice.   Factors determining whether a request for appointment will be supported include:

  • the existing number of Justices of the Peace in the community and their accessibility;
  • the existing number of ex-officio positions (eg State Service employees with more than 5 years service);
  • the applicants availability to witness documents; and
  • the type of documents required to be regularly witnessed.

How will applicants know if their application was successful

At the conclusion of the assessment process, the Department of Justice will advise applicants of the outcome of their application.   Unsuccessful applicants are provided with an explanation as to why their application was not supported.

Frequently asked questions

Are Justices of the Peace trained in the role

As noted above, it is a requirement of the appointment process that potential Justices of the Peace receive appropriate training in the Justice of the Peace Introductory Course, prior to the issuing of their Justice of the Peace certification and their swearing of the Oath.   The training is conducted by the Justices of the Peace Association.

What can a Justice of the Peace witness

The majority of documents are statutory declarations that can have signatures witnessed by a Commissioner of Declarations, numerous ex-officio professions and occupational groups (as well as by Justices of the Peace).

Accordingly, only those communities that have a high requirement for the signing of documents such as affidavits, warrants, oaths and summons will specifically require Justices of the Peace.

Do Justices of the Peace get paid

Justices of the Peace do not receive any remuneration for undertaking this role.

Where can Justices of the Peace get support

The Justices Associations are non-government bodies that provide training, education, guidance and social affiliation for Justices of the Peace.   The Department of Justice only handles the appointment processes for Justices of the peace and as such the Justices Associations are valuable resources for Justices of the Peace.   At present, there are South, North and North West Associations whose contact details are:

Tasmanian Society of Justices of the Peace Inc
GPO Box 805
Hobart Tas 7001
Phone/fax: 62611444
Email: jpregistrar@intas.net.au
Website: www.tsjpi.asn.au External link. By selecting this link, you are leaving our website.

The Hon Justice Association of Tasmania - North
PO Box 1418
Launceston Tas 7250

The Hon Justice Association of Tasmania - North West
PO Box 785
Devonport Tas 7310

Is a Justice of the Peace in one State automatically a Justice of the Peace when moving to another State

Appointment as a Justice of the Peace is not transferable from State to State.  As such, a Justice of the Peace from another State cannot witness documents in Tasmania.   Anyone wishing to become a Justice of the Peace in Tasmania must apply as above and undertake the standard selection and training process above.