How to Become a Justice of the Peace (JP) in Australia

Becoming a Justice of the Peace (JP) is a highly regarded job in Australia that allows one to serve their country by inspecting records, administering oaths, and performing other essential legal duties. If you are interested in making a civic commitment and want to know how to become a JP, this article guides you through the steps, qualifications, and advantages of becoming a JP.

What is a Justice of the Peace?

A Justice of the Peace (JP) is a voluntary position appointed by the government to perform a range of administrative and judicial duties. JPs are authorised to:

  • Witness and sign statutory declarations and affidavits
  • Certify copies of original documents
  • Witness the signing of documents
  • Administer oaths and affirmations

Benefits of Becoming a JP

Community Service

One of the primary reasons one chose to become a JP was the ability to recompense society. As a JP, you provide vital services to help ensure the integrity of legal processes.

Personal Development

Serving as a JP will help you develop abilities in both business and personal life. It entails researching legal processes, honing communication skills, and paying close attention to detail.

Recognition and Respect

Having the title JP provides some dignity and respect in society. One is in a state of trust and responsibility.

Steps to Become a JP in Australia

1. Understand the Requirements

Though the prerequisites for becoming a JP vary by state and territory in Australia, they generally include:

  • The minimum age is 18 years old.
  • Either be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident.
  • Being of good character
  • Having no significant criminal record
  • Being willing to undertake training and ongoing professional development

2. Complete the Application Form

You must complete an application form, which is accessible from the relevant authorities in your state or territory. This form will request your references, prior knowledge, and personal information.

3. Obtain Supporting Documentation

Proofreading is required to verify your eligibility and identity. This could call for:

  • Proof of citizenship or permanent residency
  • Police check
  • Character references
  • Statement of intent outlining why you want to become a JP

4. Undergo Training

Most governments and territories require possible JPs to finish their training. This course explains the responsibilities of a JP and ensures that you are prepared to participate. Training can be performed in person or online, depending on where you live.

5. Submit Your Application

Once you have finished the application form and compiled all of the necessary supporting papers, send it to the appropriate body. This could be your state’s Department of Attorney General, the Department of Justice, or another similar organisation.

6. Attend an Interview (if required)

Some jurisdictions may require you to attend an interview as part of the selection process. This interview assesses your suitability for the role and ensures you understand the responsibilities of being a JP.

7. Appointment and Oath of Office

If your application is accepted, you will be formally recognised as a JP. You will be expected to take an oath of office, declaring your commitment to serve your community faithfully and diligently.

JP Duties and Responsibilities

Witnessing Documents

One of the key responsibilities of a JP is to keep track of document signatures. This includes statutory declarations and affidavits, among other legal forms. The person signing the document should be certain that they are doing so voluntarily and comprehend the contents.

Certifying Copies

JPs can swear to the accuracy and honesty of copies of original records. This is required for a variety of purposes, including legal, financial, and administrative.

Administering Oaths and Affirmations

You may be relied on as a JP to administer affirmations and oaths. Someone is claiming, quite seriously, that their statement or paper is correct.

Continuing Professional Development

Even after becoming a JP, one should continue their professional development. This guarantees that any legislative revisions affecting your obligations will keep you informed. Many governments provide tools and refresher courses to help JPs retain their expertise and experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a JP?

Although the process varies by state and territory, it often takes several months from application to appointment. This includes the processing of your application, background checks, and training times.

Do JPs get paid in Australia?

No, the work of a JP is optional. JPs may be repaid for specific expenses incurred while working, even if they are not compensated for their services.

Can a JP refuse to witness a document?

A JP may refuse to read a document if they believe the person signing it does not understand its contents, is under pressure, or if the document is incomplete or suspicious.


Overall, becoming a judge of the peace in Australia is a rewarding way to serve your country. Following the rules outlined in this book will allow you to begin the process of becoming a JP and reap the personal and professional benefits of this prestigious position. The people you serve would really appreciate your participation as a JP, whether you are signing oaths, certifying copies, or reviewing documentation.

For further information and tools on becoming a JP, go to your state or territory’s official Attorney General’s Department or Department of Justice website.