A Justice of the Peace (JP) is a person appointed by the Attorney-General to act as an independent and objective witness to documents people use for official or legal purposes.
Justice of the Peace Services, a function of the Attorney-General's Department, manages the application, appointment, conduct and removal of JPs, as well as maintaining the South Australian Justice of the Peace Roll - a database containing contact information for JPs available around the state. Staff are available to:
- answer queries about the appointment of JPs and how to become a JP
- assist members of the public to find a JP
- provide verification of JP identification numbers and whether a person is a JP
- provide support to JPs carrying out the functions of their office
- handle complaints against JPs.
The role of the JP is to act as an independent and objective witness to documents people use for official or legal purposes. For example, a JP may:
- attest the execution of a document
- witness an affidavit for use in court
- witness a statutory declaration
- certify a true copy of an original document
- certify a person’s identity.
A statutory declaration is a written statement that you sign and declare to be true before an authorised witness. A JP can act as authorised witness to the signing of a statutory declaration.
Statutory declarations are commonly used to legally verify names, addresses, insurance claims, superannuation matters, lost passports and as evidence to support sick leave.
You can find a range of statutory declarations by searching the sa.gov.au website.
If you are wanting a witness for a commonwealth statutory declaration under the Commonwealth Statutory Declarations Act 1959 it will need to be witnessed by a person included on the Australian Government's list of authorised witnesses.
Yes. The roll of JPs contains people who speak languages other than English. To find a JP who speaks a specific language, go to the online South Australian Justice of the Peace Roll.
Complaints against JPs who breach the code of conduct must be made in writing and lodged with Justice of the Peace Services. The person making the complaint must provide the name of the JP, the ID number (if known) and details of the incident.
By law, investigations of breaches of the JP code of conduct may result in disciplinary action being taken against JPs.
You can also provide feedback about Justice of the Peace Services, including suggestions for how the service could be improved.
For further details or to apply, contact Justice of the Peace Services.
Phone: 131 882
Fax: 8204 9605
Email: jpservices [at] sa.gov.au