The role of a Justice of the Peace
- Justice of the Peace (JP) volunteers play an important role in the Justice system and provide a valuable and accessible service to all members of the community.
- JPs are volunteers appointed by the Governor-in-Council on the recommendation of the Attorney-General in accordance with section 7 of the Honorary Justices Act 2014.
- JP volunteers have the power to witness a range of legal documents, including statutory declarations and affidavits, and to certify true copies of documents.
JP volunteers are part of a collective group known as Honorary Justices. As such, there is an expectation that JP volunteers will respect, observe and adhere to the highest levels of personal, social and community standards of integrity and professionalism to ensure that all Victorians are provided with an independent, fair and impartial service.
The role of a JP volunteer is customer focused and administrative as they provide document witnessing and certification services to the broader community both during and outside business hours.
As a JP volunteer, you will have a responsibility to provide a free and timely service that is accessible to all members of the community, making yourself reasonably available to act as an independent witness for documents used for official or legal purposes.
- Attesting to the execution of a document
- Witnessing a statutory declaration
- Witnessing an affidavit for use in court
- Certifying true copies of an original document
- Certifying a person’s identity
Key selection criteria
- Computer literate with competency to access web-based resources, operate emails and a working knowledge of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office software.
- Flexibility and Adaptability: Adjust approach in line with changing priorities, is open to acquiring and developing skills and knowledge, adapt to new ways of working or organise work to deliver results.
- Self-awareness: Has conscious understanding of the impacts of own behaviours, emotions, and thought processes; takes action to improve personal effectiveness.
- Working Collaboratively: Builds trust and rapport with others; sets common goals through a high degree of empathy; display willingness to share control and responsibility with peers (the service, external partners, and community) in the delivery of work and outcomes.
- Promote Inclusion: Embrace diversity, draw on insights into the community’s beliefs, needs, and values to inform required actions.
- Partnering and Co-creation: Build effective partnerships with the client/customer/community throughout problem solving process to gain critical insights and develop effective solutions.
- Influence and Persuasion: Adapt the content style and message or tone of communications to suit the audience to gain agreement to proposals and idea using an effective written and verbal communication skills.
- Interpersonal Skills: Recognise and regulate one’s emotions; understands interests and emotions of others; achieve best outcomes possible in an authentic manner.
- Managing Difficult Conversations: Work with others to manage differences in opinions, interests, and communication issues to reach agreement.
- Customer Focus: Understand customer need, apply skills, knowledge and experience to deliver high impact services that address those needs.
There are no specific qualifications required to become a Justice of the Peace (JP) volunteer in Victoria.
However, to be eligible for appointment as a JP volunteer, applicants must:
- be of or over the age of 18 years
- be an Australian citizen
- not be an insolvent under administration.
Applicants must also satisfy the Attorney-General that they:
- have satisfactorily completed the course of training prescribed for appointment as a JP volunteer
- have sufficient proficiency in the English language to perform the duties of a JP volunteer
- ordinarily reside in Victoria
- are a fit and proper person to be appointed as a JP volunteer.
The Department of Justice and Community Safety (the department) is committed to providing and maintaining a working environment which is safe and without risk to the health of its employees consistent with the department’s obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic).
Therefore, there is a requirement that all DJCS employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to undertake duties outside of their homes.
Please note that JPs are to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (third dose) when leaving home to provide honorary justice services. This includes the provision of JP services through a document signing station located from a police station or other community venue (e.g. a public library or neighbourhood house).
Prior to commencement of service as a JP with the department you will need to provide evidence that you are vaccinated against COVID-19. Acceptable evidence includes:
- COVID-19 digital certificate (available via your myGov account)
- Your immunisation history statement (available via your myGov account) or
- A letter from the GP who vaccinated you.
Justice of the Peace (JP) volunteers should be active members of the community who demonstrate a willingness and passion for assisting other members of the community.
JP volunteers for the Department of Justice and Community Safety are required to:
- adhere to the Honorary Justice Code of Conduct
- be reasonably available and reasonably active in the performance of their duties as a JP volunteer
- undertake and successfully complete training and professional development within identified timeframes.
All appointments to the office of the Justice of the Peace are subject to a number of checks including, but not limited to:
- National Police Record check
- Australian Securities and Investment Commission check
- Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia check
- reference and social media checks.
Ongoing recruitment of honorary justices
Expressions of interest and applications for the volunteer roles of bail justices and JPs are not being accepted at this time.
Ongoing recruitment updates for JPs and bail justices will be available on our website.