Functions of a JP

Learn all the FAQ's on the functions and qualities of a Justice of the Peace

What is a Justice of the Peace?

 A Justice of the Peace is a person of unquestionable integrity who seeks to promote and protect the rights of the individual and helps to ensure justice for those persons in a particular community. 

Functions of the Justice of the Peace 

Issues Summons - this is done to compel persons to attend court. 

A Justice of the Peace may have to issue a warrant for the search of premises believed to contain illegal goods or persons.

A Justice of the Peace may also issue a warrant for the arrest of any person who on reasonable grounds is believed to have committed a criminal offense.

Attends at Police Stations 

This is done in order to ensure that the proper procedures are followed where arrested persons, who are in police custody, make statements under caution. The Justice of the Peace will also ensure that proper procedures are followed with respect to those persons who are placed in identification parades. 

Explains and signs document 

Persons often seek the help of a Justice of the Peace with regards to wills, transfer of property, common law titles and other kinds of legal documents. 

A Justice of the Peace is often required to listen to persons and where possible, help those who experience various kinds of problems and seek the advice of a leader in the community. 

In order to realize these objectives he/she seeks to demonstrate a commitment to promoting harmony in the community. 

Who Can Become a Justice of the Peace? 

Any Saint Lucian citizen between the ages of 25 and 75, who is able to speak and write English fluently. Any person wanting to become a Justice of the Peace is expected to: 

(a) Be a mature individual who commands the respect and confidence of his/her community members 

(b) Holds a record of having given good service and leadership to his/ her community or the country and shows the potential for further good service

(c) Be able to communicate and interact at all levels and with all types of individuals in his/ her community.

Benefits to you and your community by becoming a Justice of Peace 

Being a Justice of the Peace is a worthwhile and very rewarding experience. The skills which you develop can be used in your personal working life. These benefits include: 

Being part of the community and giving something back to the community 

Having a better awareness of the diversity and social needs of the community

Further developing existing personal skills such as communication, objectivity, decision making and self management

Gaining an understanding of the law.

Training

An introductory Training Programme will help the individual to develop further the skills and knowledge that will be needed to carry out the duties of a Justice of the Peace The training will include: 

understanding the framework of justice within which Justices of the Peace operate 

understanding basic law and procedures

Sharpening the skills of thinking and acting judicially, and maintaining independence in all areas of decision-making

Communicating effectively

Working effectively as a Chairperson or as a team member

Personal Qualities 

To be a Justice of the Peace you do not need to be legally qualified. You will, however, be asked to demonstrate that you have four necessary qualities: 

Capacity for Fairness 

Sound Judgment

Communication

Management of Self and others.

Sound Judgment

Think logically, weigh arguments and make objective and impartial decisions 

1.understand complex documents and identify relevant facts 

2.distinguish between relevant and irrelevant material

3.Follow arguments without prejudging their merits

4.Make decisions in accordance with rules or procedures while taking account of individual circumstances

Capacity for Fairness 

Respect for and understanding of the needs of the diverse range of the population 

The ability to reorganize and set aside prejudice and to challenge prejudice in others 

The ability to understand and explain different points of view ensuring all who have a right to be heard are heard

Commitment to ensuring equality to treatment.

Communication

You should be able to show that you can communicate effectively by: 

Listening sometimes for long periods

using all methods of communication effectively

Being able to explain the reasoning for your decision

Appropriate, effective and clear questioning

Seeking and listening to advice

Demonstrate That's You

Have sufficient self-awareness to be able to assess the impact of your own behavior or others and to modify your behavior 

Have the ability to manage a workload in a business like manner while demonstrating sound judgment

Are open to different view-points and value others' contributions

Have the understanding and ability to articulate the differing views and needs of others

Are resilient and able to handle stress.

Good Character

Justices of the Peace must be respected members of the community and as such are expected to be of good character.  

They must exhibit: 

Selflessness

Integrity

Objectivity

Accountability

Openness

Honesty

Leadership

Your conduct must be fitting to hold judicial office

You must have no criminal conviction.

Address

Castries, Saint Lucia
West Indies 


Contacts

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Phone: +1 (758) 719-0906