Who are JPs?
JPs are appointed by the Governor of New South Wales for five-year terms. They are volunteers, who come from all walks of life and all sections of the community.
JPs are people who are trusted to be honest, careful and impartial, when performing the functions of a JP.
What are the functions of a JP?
The most common functions performed by a JP in NSW are to:
Witness the signing of a statutory declaration
A statutory declaration is a written statement which a person declares to be true in the presence of an authorised witness. Various organisations often require information to be provided to them in a statutory declaration.
Witness the signing of an affidavit
An affidavit is a written statement for use as evidence in court proceedings. A person who makes an affidavit must promise that he or she is telling the truth, in the presence of an authorised witness.
Certify that a copy of an original document is a true copy
Various organisations sometimes accept a certified copy of a document, instead of the original. This avoids a person having to mail or submit the original of a precious document, like a birth certificate or academic qualification.
What can I expect from a JP?
Before a JP can witness you signing a statutory declaration or affidavit, the JP is required to:
- check the document is completed correctly
- ask you questions to make sure you understand the purpose, effect and content of the document
- warn you it is a serious criminal offence to make a false statement in the document, and that the penalties include imprisonment
- confirm your identity (if the JP has not known you for 12 months or more, the JP must see your identification document)
- watch you sign the document in the JP’s presence.
Before a JP can certify a copy of an original document, the JP must have both the original document and the copy physically in front of him/her.
A JP is required to always comply with the law and follow the proper procedure. JPs who fail to do so can be fined or have their appointments revoked.
NSW statutory declaration - Eighth Schedule
NSW statutory declaration - Ninth Schedule
Justice of the Peace Schedule
Mt Druitt Local Area