GuidelinesLearn more about the Justice of the Peace Guidelines
These guidelines are designed to assist the Justices of the Peace in better understanding their role, functions and expectations in the community. Justices of the Peace serve their community in various roles primarily by:
Administering oaths or affidavits, witnessing statutory declarations and taking affirmations.
Attesting and certifying documents
Justices of the Peace are not generally appointed for the purposes of serving only the organization in which they work. Justices of the Peace should:
1. Be available at reasonable times:
They should generally be available after hours
on weekends and public holidays and if possible, during business hours
it is generally not acceptable for a Justice of the Peace to refuse or fail to perform his or her role because he/she is busy, or because it is otherwise inconvenient to do so.
The Justice of the Peace should instead either arrange to meet with the person requiring assistance at a mutually convenient time, or direct him/her to an available, local Justice of the Peace.
The role of a Justice of the Peace may involve a large time commitment.
2. Be professional, courteous and impartial
in performing their role, Justices of the Peace should behave in a professional, courteous, and impartial manner
The Justice of the Peace should at all times be respectful of the circumstances of the person requiring assistance
3. not provide legal advice
Justices of the Peace are not legally trained and cannot provide legal advice.
if legal advice is sought, the Justice of the Peace should decline to provide such advice and indicate that the person should contact a legal practitioner or seek assistance from one of the providers of free legal advice.
4. Avoid conflicts of interest
A Justice of the Peace must be independent of matters connected with the performance of his or her office.
A Justice of the Peace should not administer oaths or affidavits, or take statutory declarations and affirmations from members of his or her family, business associates, personal clients, employer or any other person in circumstances in which it could be claimed that the Justice of the Peace is not a disinterested party; Witness documents for any person in circumstances in which it could be claimed that the Justice of the Peace is not a disinterested party; or Prepare or assist in the preparation of documents which the Justice of the Peace intends to witness.
5. Keep contact details up to date
A Justice of the Peace must keep the Ministry of Justice informed of changes that may affect his or her role as a Justice of the Peace
This includes changes to his or her current private and business addresses and telephone numbers or any other event that would disqualify the Justice of the Peace from holding office
6. Adhere to the appropriate legislation and correct procedures
in performing the role of a Justice of the Peace, care must be taken to ensure that all legislative requirements are complied with.
A Justice of the Peace should decline to act if he or she is not aware of the legislative requirements for acting in a particular case or if he or she cannot comply with the legislative requirements or instructions accompanying a document.
7. Maintain confidentiality Justices of the Peace may through their role in witnessing documents, become aware of the contents of documents and confidential information.
A Justice of the Peace must at all times maintain the confidentiality and privacy of a person seeking assistance
A Justice of the Peace must not use information obtained in performing the office for his or her own advantage or that of any other person.