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. In Victoria, JPs 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 and as such, there is an expectation that all 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.
They have a responsibility to provide a free and timely service that is accessible to all members of the community, making themselves reasonably available to act as an independent witness to documents that are used for official or legal purposes.
In Victoria, the role of a JP volunteer is largely administrative. The primary role is focused on:
- 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.
Knowledge and skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Conflict management
- Initiative and accountability
- Self confidence
- Self control and discipline
- Drive and commitment
- Empathy and cultural awareness
There are no specific qualifications required to become a JP volunteer in Victoria. However, to be eligible for appointment as a JP, 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
- have sufficient proficiency in the English language to perform the duties of a JP
- ordinarily reside in Victoria
- are a fit and proper person to be appointed as a JP.
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 his or her duties as a JP
- undertake and successfully complete training and professional development within identified timeframes.
All appointments are subject to the following checks:
- National Police Record check
- Australian Securities and Investment Commission check
- Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia check.