Justices of the Peace and Notaries Public 

What does a Justice of the Peace (JP) do?
How do I find a Justice of the Peace?
How does somebody become a Justice of the Peace?
What does a Notary Public do?
How do I become a Notary Public?
How do I find a Notary Public?

What does a Justice of the Peace (JP) do?

All JP services are free. They have two sets of responsibilities – ministerial and judicial. Their ministerial roles include;

  • Witnessing signatures on documents
  • Certifying copies of documents
  • Completing declarations (including statutory declarations), affidavits or affirmations

Judicial duties require additional specific training and could include;

  • Hearing summary offences
  • Conducting traffic courts
  • Hearing bail applications and requests for remands and adjournments
  • Issuing search warrants

How do I find a Justice of the Peace?

There are a number of ways you can find a Justice of the Peace:  


How does somebody become a Justice of the Peace?

To be a Justice of the Peace (JP) you will need to have:

  • a genuine desire to serve your community,
  • a good standing in your community (this does not mean material wealth),
  • respect of others as a person of good sense, character and integrity, and
  • an adequate standard of education.

The purpose of making someone a JP is not about honouring a deserving citizen, it is about enabling a person to serve the public through the tasks a JP is empowered to perform. 

You should be aware that people are appointed to the role of a JP based on the needs of the local community, so appointments are made only where there are not already enough JPs to meet the need. 

Local electorate Members of Parliament (MPs) are key people in the appointment process for JPs as people must be nominated by their local MP (or nominated by a list MP with the endorsement of the electorate MP).  Nominations then go to the Minister of Justice. 

If you are interested in becoming a Justice of the Peace, then in the first instance you should get in touch with the Registrar of your local JP Association. They can provide you with more information and guidance on the process.

What does a Notary Public do?

Notaries Public (NPs) provide some similar services to JPs, although only qualified and experienced solicitors are able to become an NP. Their services can therefore be more specialised and these are usually provided for a fee.  NP services include the following:

  • Authenticating documents
  • Taking affidavits and declarations
  • Administering oaths
  • Certifying copies of documents and signatures
  • Preparing documents that will be used overseas, e.g. documents for adopting an overseas child.

How do I become a Notary Public?

You have to be a qualified solicitor with several years experience, and you need to take an oath of office.

How do I find a Notary Public?

You can contact your local CAB.

Or else, there is a list of Notaries Public available through the Embassy of the United States of America's website or through Finda.


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