A member of a fairly well established (14th Century) group of voluntary legal officers. The title is often abbreviated to JP.
Established by King Edward in 1327 by way of legislation as the "Peace Officer", their office was to deal with minor offenses, and thus ease workload for the Judges. At the time, any offense against the peace was considered to be an offense against the king, and any offense against the "King's Peace" was treated severely.
Traditionally the role was awarded to landed gentry, and other "Highly Respectable" members of the community. These officers were allowed to use the title of "Justice", which of course eroded to become Justice of the Peace.
Being an English Thang, the system spread to the other Colonies, where it still thrives on, performing different but still vital functions for the community as a whole.
There are 3 levels of Justice's here in Queensland, and they are:-
There roles were introduced in 1991, in the Justices of the Peace and Commissioners for Declarations Act 1991. In order to become a JP, you must be
In addition, to become either of the last 2 qualifications requires you to sit an exam. Once all qualifications are met, you send an application form to your electorates MP, who signs it, and you then take your oath, and recieve your Seal of Office and certificate. Now, you're a fully licenced JP, ready to serve the community.
Interested? Don't go rushing out yet... you're disqualified from being a JP IF:-
So, no speeding, or being a general Nogoodnic, which is probably not indicitive of being a good member of the community.
Information for this node taken from "The Duties of Justices of the Peace (Qualified)", Copyright Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Queensland, 2001. This information is available at http://www.justice.qld.gov.au.
Thanks to rootbeer277 for a correction.
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