Search for qualified JPs begins in earnest

March 16, 2015 by  

Demand for Justices of the Peace in Fremantle, Western Australia, is growing as more and more qualified retirees step down from the role.

Long-time JP John Alberti said there was such a need for JPs in the area that flyer printing had been undertaken, with materials to be distributed to retirement villages in an effort to entice former JPs to return to the service and help out for as long as possible.

He said many active JPs were reaching an age where they were no longer legally able to attend to the full duties of the role.

Once a JP reaches the age of 70, the signing of documents such as search warrants for customs, fisheries and police is no longer permitted. At 75 they can no longer sit in on court cases relating to traffic cases and restraining orders, he said.

Alberti, 66, said it meant JPs over 75 were only left with the witnessing of affidavits, statutory declarations and certified copies, increasing the need for younger JPs to join or reinstate their service.

He said Fremantle had 10 JPs to operate the service at the Citizens Advice Bureau, Cockburn library, and in Fremantle.

Hours have been reduced at Fremantle due to the lack of qualified JPs.

Anyone intending to become a JP needs first to be nominated by a state member of parliament. Once the attorney general approves the application, the person is then required to undertake a TAFE course, which is usually run over a 10-week period, after which they are then sworn in by the governor.