How to become a Justice of the Peace

Being a Justice of the Peace (JP) is an honorary position, meaning you will not be paid. 

Under the law, JPs are appointed if there is a need in a particular area.

Your appointment may be:

  • for a certain number of years only
  • and dependent on you living in a certain place. 

JPs are usually appointed for five years, but this can depend on the need in your area. 

Before you apply 

To be eligible, you must: 

  • be a Northern Territory (NT) resident
  • be registered at your current residential address on the NT electoral roll
  • be of good character
  • establish a need for a JP in your community 
  • demonstrate a knowledge of the role
  • have a criminal history check by the NT police 
  • agree to confidential inquiries being made about you. 

You will also be interviewed by an officer from the Department of Attorney-General Justice or the NT police.

Read the Justice of Peace handbook for more information.

Justice of the Peace handbook (712.1 kb)
Justice of the Peace handbook (2.0 mb) 

How to apply

Step 1. You can request a JP application pack by either: 

You will be contacted to discuss your application, and whether there is a need for a JP in your area. 

Step 2. You must return all of the following documents:

  • your completed application form
  • signed photographic identification - for eg: both sides of your driver licence and passport
  • three character references or three referee reports
  • a completed criminal history check application and photo identity documents - go to the Northern Territory Police website to find this application form. 

Step 3. Send the documents by post or email to:

Clerk of the Peace
Department of Attorney-General and Justice
GPO Box 1722
Darwin NT 0801

Incomplete applications

You may be contacted or your application returned if it is incomplete.

This includes if you:

  • have not answered all the questions on the form
  • haven't provided evidence of change of name and/or proof of use of change of name
  • have not provided sign photographic evidence
  • are married but not provided a maiden name
  • have not provided a completed criminal history check application form and/or the certified photographic identity documents used to validate the 100 points of identity document
  • have not provided three referee reports or three character references
  • have not signed and/or had witnessed the statutory declaration page of the application. 

If you are successful

You must do all of the following:

  • make yourself available within reason, to people who need your services.
  • not ask for a fee or accept payment for signing documents.
  • update your details on the database if you change your address, job or phone number. 

Keeping records 

You must keep a record of any documents signed or duties performed.

The records should note all of the following:

  • date
  • time
  • details of the person with the document
  • type of document, such as court, overseas document, search or telephone warrants
  • any other information you consider relevant.

You will need to provide a sample record of duties carried out over a typical week or month, for each year of your appointment when you apply to be be reappointed as a JP.

The example record of service (95.1 kb) shows how records should be kept. 

You can use the blank record of service (91.4 kb) to keep your records. 

Conduct of a JP 

You are not entitled to charge a fee for your services.

Being a JP is a position of trust and responsibility.

JPs must remain of good character during their appointment.

You must tell the Department of Attorney-General and Justice if any of the following happen:

  • you are convicted of a criminal offence
  • you are found to have acted dishonestly by a court, tribunal, inquiry, regulatory agency, complaint handling or dispute resolution body or professional, business, trade or industry association
  • become bankrupt or make a debt agreement, or personal insolvency agreement 
  • are disqualified from being involved in the management of any company
  • you are suspended or disqualified from holding any licence, registration, certificate or membership in relation to any profession, business, trade or industry.


You will no longer be a JP if any of the following apply:

  • the Administrator terminates your appointment
  • the appointment was subject to a condition that isn't fulfilled
  • your appointment period expires 
  • you resign in writing by post or email to:

Clerk of the Peace
Department of the Attorney-General and Justice
GPO Box 1722
Darwin NT 0801 

How to renew as a JP

Renewal of your position is not automatic.

You will be sent a letter and a JP renewal application within five months of your appointment expires.

You will need to provide a copy of a photographic identity document such as either:

  • both sides of your driver licence
  • or a passport.

The identity document doesn't need to be certified. 

If you have any questions, contact the statutory appointments officer by either:

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Last updated: 24 February 2017