Become a Justice of the Peace

Nominations must be submitted through a State Member of Parliament. In regional areas, nominations can be submitted through the local magistrate or State Member of Parliament.
Information

COVID-19 notice: Temporary suspension of Justice of the Peace training from 27 March 2020. JP Training coordinated and managed by the Department of Justices is temporarily suspended until further notice. We appreciate your understanding whilst these temporary measures are in place.

Nominations

To become a Justice of the Peace (JP):

  • Nominations must be submitted through a State Member of Parliament. In regional areas, nominations can be submitted through the local magistrate or State Member of Parliament.
  • Appointees must complete a JP training course before appointment. Important information on the mandatory training course is available on the Pre- Appointment Training information below.

An applicant must satisfy the following criteria for appointment:

  1. Australian citizen with a minimum of 12 months residence in Western Australia.
  2. Enrolled on the State electoral roll.
  3. Of good character and reputation, including (preferably) a record of community service.
  4. Demonstrate a willingness and capacity to fulfil all the duties of a JP when called upon.
  5. Not insolvent under administration.
  6. Over 18 and under 70 years of age.

Pre Appointment Training Course

The Justice of the Peace (JP) training course is only available to people who have been recommended for appointment as a JP by the Attorney General.

In certain circumstances, it may also be available for current JPs. The course is funded by the Department of Justice.

The course is designed to prepare successful applicants for the community work they will undertake and includes training in:

  • issuing search warrants
  • processing bail, and surety applications
  • attesting documents including affidavits and statutory declarations.

Prospective applicants should be aware that this course must be successfully completed before they can be appointed as a JP.

The North Metropolitan TAFE offers courses both 'on campus' and by online modules. The on campus courses are scheduled for a whole week at least twice a year. There are monthly intakes for the online course. Students who choose to enrol in the course by online modules have 15 weeks to complete. 

Candidates offered an appointment to become a JP must complete the course within 12 months of the offer. Failure to complete the pre-appointment training within 12 months may result in the offer of appointment lapsing.

Applicants should consider the commitment required to complete this short course before proceeding with their application to become a JP. Further information is available below on the advantages and disadvantages of both in-class and correspondence learning.

Once appointed as a JP,  ongoing training is required under the Code of Conduct for JPs, to maintain your skills and knowledge expected by the community.

JP training information including the JP Handbook, Fact Sheets and the JP Training Calendar can be viewed on the Training for JPs section below.

Information on training is available by phoning the JP Branch Training and Research Coordinator on (08) 9425 2525 or by email to jps@justice.wa.gov.au

Information for Justices of the Peace

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There are approximately 2500 Justices of the Peace (JPs) in Western Australia who perform a valuable and important role within the justice system and in the community.

JPs are expected to perform their duties consistently and be available to the public whenever possible. There is a particular need for JPs rostered at document witnessing centres.

JP appointments are made on the understanding that JPs will carry out their duties and attend regular training as required. If due to any change of present circumstances a JP becomes unable to fulfil the responsibilities of appointment, it may be necessary to request a JP’s resignation in order that an alternative appointment be made.

JPs who are no longer active

If you are no longer able to be actively involved as a JP, you should tender your signed resignation in writing to:

JP Branch
Department of Justice
GPO Box F317
PERTH  WA  6841

Email: jps@justice.wa.gov.au

Change of name or contact details

The Justice of the Peace Act 2004 (the Act) requires that a register of JPs be maintained and that information in that register be made available to the public. The Act also requires JPs to notify the JP Branch of any change of their address and contact details within 30 days of the change.

Failure to notify the JP Branch of your change of contact details may result in inconvenience to members of the public requiring the services of a JP.  In addition you will not be updated on policy and training material, and where contact details cannot be ascertained, your commission as a JP may be revoked.

If you have changed your contact details please complete and return the change of contact details form below.

If you have changed your name you will also need to provide a photocopy of your marriage certificate or change of name by licence form.

Justice of the Peace Member Associations

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Independent Justice of the Peace (JP) Member Associations have been established to promote and support the status and interests of JPs and to assist in providing a high level of JP services to the WA community.

JP associations advance and encourage the important role that JPs play in the justice system and supports networking opportunities for their members.

Membership of JP associations is voluntary but is encouraged. If you are interested in joining a JP association you may contact either the:

Registrar
Royal Association of Justices of WA (Inc)
Central Law Courts
501 Hay Street
PERTH WA 6000
Phone: (08) 9425 2824

or

Registrar
Fremantle Association of Justices (Inc)
PO Box 1078
BOORAGOON WA 6954
Phone 0433 056 945

or

Secretary
Western Australian Regional Association of Justices (Inc)
C/- 3 Stephen Street,
BUNBURY WA 6230
Phone (08) 9725 2489

Role of a Justice of the Peace

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There are approximately 2,500 Justices of the Peace (JPs) of varied nationalities and cultural backgrounds, living in all parts of WA, who provide an invaluable and voluntary services to the WA community.

JPs are appointed by the Governor who authorises them to carry out a range of official administrative duties in the community. These administrative duties include issuing search warrants, witnessing affidavits, statutory declarations and certifying documents.

The JP Handbook (6th Ed) has been written to familiarise JPs with the responsibilities of their office. It is essential that all JPs fully understand the legal significance of the duties they perform. The contents of this handbook should be understood before undertaking JP duties.

The Attorney General has issued a Code of Conduct for JPs which sets out the high standards of conduct that a JP is expected to uphold.

Training for Justices of the Peace

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All Justices of the Peace (JPs) are expected to follow the same procedures when performing administrative duties. In an attempt to standardise JP training and knowledge, new materials are regularly added to the website.

The JP Handbook is the primary guide outlining the practice and procedures JPs should follow. This information is supplemented by other information including, Fact Sheets, JP Bulletins which inform JPs of changes to policy and legislation and are emailed to targeted JPs and tailored to the various JP roles.

Online modules on a range of topics including Bail,  Search Warrants and Witnessing Documents are also available.

JPs are encouraged to use these resources and to monitor the JP Training Calendar, which contains information about proposed and upcoming JP seminars.

If you are interested in enrolling in online modules or have other queries, please contact the JP Training and Research Coordinator on 9425 2524 or email jps@justice.wa.gov.au.

Downloads

Witnessing Documents

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In Western Australia the Oaths, Affidavits and Statutory Declarations Act 2005(the OASD Act) provides for the manner in which oaths, affidavits and statutory declarations are administered and witnessed.

There are at least 44 occupational groups who are able to witness statutory declarations, including State & Commonwealth public servants, police officers, nurses and teachers. In addition, the OASD Act also authorises any person before whom, under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 of the Commonwealth, a statutory declaration may be made.

A list of persons authorised to witness statutory declarations can be viewed below.

Affidavits (including Family Court documents) can only be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace, legal practitioner, public notary, registrar, clerk of a court or any mining registrar appointed under the Mining Act 1978.

Overseas documents

Foreign governments or businesses usually require Australian notarised documents, as well as other Australian public documents, to be either "apostilled" by the Australian government, or "legalised" by their Embassies or Consulates in Australia.

Generally, any document for use overseas must be witnessed, legalised or authenticated by a Notary Public.

A list of Notary Public is published on the internet - https://www.notarylocator.com.au/WA

For further information on witnessing documents please contact (08) 9425 2525.

Information for Authorised Witnesses on how to certify documents and witness a statutory declaration can be downloaded below.

For a copy of the Oaths, Affidavits and Statutory Declarations Act 2005 go to www.legislation.wa.gov.au

Downloads

Commonwealth Statutory Declarations

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A statutory declaration relating to a law of the Commonwealth must be made on the approved form under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 (a Commonwealth Act).

A copy of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 (a Commonwealth Act) can be downloaded from the ComLaw website.

An authorised witness for Western Australia may also witness a Commonwealth Statutory Declaration, as long as they are in Western Australia at the time of witnessing.

A copy of the Commonwealth Statutory Declaration form can be downloaded from the Attorney-General's Department website.

Page reviewed 12 August 2020