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 can be appointed if there is a need in a particular area.

Your appointment may be:

  • for a certain number of years
  • and is dependent on you living in the region where you are appointed. 

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

Who can apply 

To be eligible for appointment as a JP you must: 

  • have lived in the Northern Territory (NT) for at least 12 months
  • intend to stay in the NT for five years
  • be enrolled on the NT electoral roll at your current address
  • be of good character and able to provide three referee reports
  • be able to show a need for a JP in your community 
  • show knowledge of the role of a JP
  • have a criminal history check by the NT police 
  • agree to confidential inquiries being made about you
  • agree to your name and contact details being published on the internet. 

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

For more information read the JP handbook (636.4 kb).

How to apply

Step 1. Request a JP application pack. You can do this 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 original application form
  • signed photo ID - eg: both sides of your driver licence showing your signature, or your passport
  • three original copies of character references from respected members of your community
  • a completed criminal history check application form and photo identity documents.

Read how to apply for a criminal history check.

Step 3. Send the documents by post to:

Statutory appointments officer
Department of the 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 provided original documents
  • have not answered all the questions on the application form
  • have not provided evidence of change of name or proof of use of change of name
  • have not provided signed photo ID
  • are married but have not provided a maiden name
  • have not provided a completed criminal history check application form
  • have not provided three character references
  • have not signed or had witnessed the statutory declaration page of the application form
  • are not enrolled in the NT electoral roll at your current address. 

If you are successful

If you are appointed as a JP you must follow the standards of conduct. This includes:

  • making yourself available, within reason, to people who need your services.
  • treating all people looking to use your services with courtesy, dignity and respect
  • dealing with requests for your services in a timely manner
  • not being dishonest or doing anything to bring the office of JP into disrepute
  • not asking for a fee or accepting payment for signing documents
  • update your details on the database if you change your address, job or phone number by calling (08) 8999 1809.

For more information read Attachment A in the JP handbook (636.4 kb).

How to renew as a JP

Renewal of your appointment as a JP is not automatic.

You will be sent a letter and a renewal form six months before your appointment expires.

You will need to provide a copy of your photo ID - eg: both sides of your driver licence showing your signature, or your passport.

The identity document doesn't need to be certified. 

If you have any questions, contact the Statutory Appointments Officer by either:

Termination 

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

  • the Administrator of the NT terminates your appointment
  • the appointment was subject to a condition that isn't fulfilled
  • your appointment period expires
  • you stop living in the NT

You must resign in writing by post or email to:

Statutory appointments officer
Department of the Attorney-General and Justice
GPO Box 1722
Darwin NT 0801
agd.sao@nt.gov.au

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Last updated: 11 December 2017