Witnessing a Will or enduring power of attorney
While anyone who has mental capacity and credibility to give evidence in a court of law can witness a Will (except those unable to see the act of signing), it is important to note that it does not require an authorised witness such as a Justice of the Peace (JP) to be a witness.
The only requirement is that the witnesses are two independent adults and therefore if you choose to witness a Will, you must do so as a private citizen, not as a JP and you must not write your JP credentials on the Will.
The following fact sheet has been developed to assist you, should you choose to witness a Will as a private citizen. For legal advice about wills please contact the Legal Services Commission, Monday to Friday 9am-4.30pm on 1300 366 424.
In relation to witnessing an enduring power of attorney (EPOA) as a justice of the peace, please note the following important requirements:
- when the donor signs the EPOA, the donee of the power (ie the person who will become the attorney) does not need to be present
- if there is more than one donee, then all the donees do not need to be present at the one time to execute the “form of acceptance”.
For further information about how to witness an EPOA please refer to the JP Handbook.
Please note the JP Handbook is currently being revised and an updated version will be published on the website when finalised.
Teachers registration forms
On 1 July 2018 the Teachers Registration Board of SA implemented new forms for applicants applying for teacher registration.
The main change is that a minimum of four ID documents will be required instead of two.
On page 4 of the application form (under section 8) is the statutory declaration that you as a JP will be required to witness. If you witness the statutory declaration form, you must also certify the copies of the ID documents provided by the applicant. Applicants have been asked to have their original documents ready to present to the JP, along with the copies for certification.
An additional line has been included in the statutory declaration area for the JP to note which reads ‘I verify that all the photographs contained within the documents certified by me are, to the best of my ability, photographs of the applicant.’
For further information, please contact the Teachers Registration Board of South Australia on 8253 9700.
Amendments to Justices of the Peace Act 2005 and Justices of the Peace Regulations 2006
On 19 December 2017 amendments to the Justices of the Peace Act 2005 and Justices of the Peace Regulations 2006 commenced.
The following fact sheet Amendments to the Justices of the Peace Act 2005 and Justices of the Peace Regulations 2006 has been developed to assist JPs to understand the amendments. For more information please contact Justice of the Peace Services on 131 882 or email jpservices [at] sa.gov.au
Validating digital passes and licences
Justices of the Peace will need to be able to verify digital passes or licences, such as proof of age passes and driver’s licences.
The Government of South Australia has begun introducing digital passes and licences. This means that South Australians can carry selected Government issued passes and licences on an Apple or Android smart phone or tablet device.
Digital passes and licences are provided through the mySA GOV account (an update of the EzyReg account) and mySA GOV app. Digital passes and licences displayed in the mySA GOV app are an electronic form of the existing physical pass or licence and are valid credentials.
While current plastic and paper passes and licences will continue to be issued, and people will be encouraged to continue carrying their plastic or paper licence during a transitional period, some people may choose to only carry their digital pass or licence.
Please read the following factsheet for more information about digital passes and licences including how to create a mySA GOV account and download the mySA GOV app, other licences now available digitally, and how to validate digital passes and licences.
For more information about the mySA GOV app, setting up a mySA GOV account, and validating digital passes and licences visit — my.sa.gov.au
If you need help creating a mySA GOV account call Service SA on 1300 450 422 (Monday to Friday) during business hours or email — myaccountassistance [at] sa.gov.au
Advance Care Directives Act 2013
For more information about ACDs or to download the ACD Form or DIY ACD Kit visit the Advance Care Directives website.
Special Justices sit in the Magistrates and Youth Courts to hear minor matters. To become a Special Justice a person must be a JP and be selected to complete a TAFE SA course designed for Special Justices.
If you are a JP and interested in becoming a Special Justice contact Justice of the Peace Services to check your eligibility.
The Attorney-General's Department’s JP volunteer service operates from Monday to Friday at Chesser House, Level 2, 91 Grenfell Street Adelaide and is looking for JPs who are interested in offering their time either in the morning (9am to 1pm) or afternoon (1pm to 4.30pm) at least once a month. For more information or to register your interest contact Justice of the Peace Services.
Councils, libraries, courts and community organisations also often provide a JP service to the community which you could become involved with. For more information contact your local council, library, court or community organisation.
JPs who resign after having served the office for 20 years can use the title “JP (Retired)”. Before you use this title check the Justice of the Peace Act 2005 and Justice of the Peace Regulations 2006.