As a Justice of the Peace, you frequently meet and are in close contact with members of the community. In line with recent COVID-19 developments, please do not continue to provide JP services to the community if you are unwell.
If you believe you fall into a risk category, we recommend ceasing your JP duties until health authorities advise a reduced threat from the virus in the community. For more information, contact the Coronavirus Health Information line on 1800 020 080 or visit the SA Health website.
The South Australian Government has now expanded the criteria for people available to witness statutory declarations to make it easier for people to access these services, including:
- government employees
- religious ministers
- medical professionals
- bank officers.
A full list of people who can now act as authorised witnesses can be found in the COVID-19 Emergency (Section 16) Regulations 2020 (PDF 62KB).
This only applies statutory declarations. It doesn't make any alteration to the persons or class of persons who may take Affidavits or witness the execution of Enduring Powers of Attorney.
The regulations don't amend in any way the manner in which statutory declarations are to be taken. Statutory declarations must be taken in accordance with the Oaths Act 1936 in the following form:
I, [insert name of declarant] do solemnly and sincerely declare that [content of declaration]. And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the provisions of the Oaths Act 1936.
You can find practical information on witnessing documents and taking statutory declarations in the Justice of the Peace Handbook (PDF 1.6MB). See pages 19-21 for general information, and pages 60-64 for information specific to the taking of statutory declarations.
When signing the statutory declaration authorised witnesses should indicate on the form which category of authorised witness they fall into.
[Signature of witness]
John Citizen, health practitioner.
If a witness falls into more than one category (e.g. Justice of the Peace and religious minister) only one category needs to be specified.
Anyone witnessing statutory declarations should adhere to social distancing measures.
These amendments are temporary. The regulations will cease to operate when section 16 of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020 expires.