The Hobart

Ever Wondered What A JP Does?

by David Hudson
Ever Wondered What A JP Does?

The role of a Justice of the Peace (JP) has existed since 1195 when King Richard 1 created the role of “keepers of the peace”.

The appointed knights were required to ensure the law was upheld and “the King’s peace” was preserved. Since that time the roles and responsibilities have changed significantly, but with most nations colonised by the English still retaining similar positions in their legal systems. In Tasmania, JPs are appointed by the Attorney-General to perform a wide range of administrative and quasi-ju­dicial services for the community, all on a voluntary basis. These include witnessing a wide range of documents (including affidavits and statutory declarations) and certifying copies of documents. It should be noted that many nations do not permit Australian JPs to provide these services for international documents and processes. In addition, JPs are called upon by TasPol to witness drug disposal, attend juvenile interviews where a related adult is not available and consider search warrants for approval.

Upon completion of specified training provided by the Magistrates Court, JPs can be appointed as Bench Justices to preside, mostly in after-hours courts, in hearings for bail, and applications for interim family violence orders and restraint orders. A Bench Justice may grant bail or remand in custody for all matters brought before them except murder and terrorism, or a Supreme Court arrest warrant. Some Bench Justices are also authorised to preside in Preliminary Proceedings for the Supreme Court for the defence to cross-examine prosecution witnesses to get a fuller understanding of the prosecution evidence before going to trial. The increasing use of electronic documents and communications is requir­ing a review of the way in which JPs can undertake their duties without actual documents to consider. Already some activities have been modified to assist in situations where COVID restrictions mean that the JP and their client cannot have in-person contact. There are JPs located all around Tasmania. If you need to contact a JP or understand what a JP can do, the quickest way is to go to www. All you need is to do is to use your suburb, postcode, language or, if you know a JP, their surname, to search the list of JPs in Tasmania.

New JPs are only appointed if there is an identified need in a particular region, or where an applicant is employed in an area of need and can provide JP services at their place of employment. You don’t need to have a legal back­ground to become a JP – you will be provided training to ensure you are fully aware of the legally important roles and responsibilities.

The Tasmanian Society of JPs Inc. (which is celebrating its centenary this year) has JPs on duty at:

Hobart Service Tasmania – Thursday and Friday, 10am to 2pm

Rosny Park Service Tasmania – Tuesday, 9.30am to 4.30pm

Glenorchy Council Chambers – Monday, 10am to 2pm

Kingborough Council Chambers – Wednesday, 10am to 2pm

Love this

Cold Water Wake Up Call
It seems everywhere I turn someone is talking about or participating in cold water swimming right now.
A Short Geelong Getaway
Since the Spirit of Tasmania terminal moved from Melbourne to Geelong late last year, a visit to Geelong has been on the radar.
27 Hobart Friends Get Snipping For One Off Wine
The borders were declared shut in Tasmania on the 30th of March, 2020; the first stare to do so amid the COVID- 19 pandemic and hard lockdown of Hobart followed.
Danphe Nepalese and Indian Food + Peppermint Bay Bar and Bistro
Nepalese food is a comfort in our house. Having spent much time trekking and mountain climbing in Nepal as a younger man, Nepalese food is something I always love to go back to.
That’s DR Hannah Gadsby To You
From Smithton to Netflix and the Emmys stage, Tasmanian stand up comic Hannah Gadsby has forged an unlikely path. Following on from the massive success of her shows Nanette and Douglas, Hannah brings her new show Body of Work to Hobart this month.
PODCAST: Incat founder Robert Clifford on why electric boats are the future
Robert Clifford is the founder of Incat, a Hobart company building fast ferries for the world. Always looking to future opportunities, he has identified where Hobart sits in the next wave of transportation. For more of this interview listen to The Hobart Magazine podcast.
Is Tourism Ready For More Forestry Wars?
Tasmanian forests are special. They’re home to centuries-old trees, including the tallest flowering trees on the planet, and support unique native species. Yet not everyone agrees on how these forests should be managed.
Hobart Chefs: When The Obsession Becomes Real
Tasmania’s brand as a foodie haven is cemented. But within the local hospitality industry there are those who love to use local produce...and those who are next-level obsessed with it. We spoke to a bunch of Hobart chefs who are top of the game when it comes to fostering relationships with local farmers and growers.
Did You Know Australia’s First Female Doctor Was Hobartian?
Tasmania, despite its small size and population in comparison to the mainland, has produced more than its proportionally predicted percentage of significant figures and heroes of Australian history. 
Return Travellers Adding Pressure to Hobart Housing
For all of us 2020 was a year like no other, punctuated by rapid change and plenty of new challenges. For vulnerable people in Tasmania, including people facing homelessness, those on low incomes and those facing increasingly higher rents, it was very challenging. We are seeing a growing demand for homes in Tassie from international travellers returning home, people moving for work and others seeking the lifestyle that our Apple Isle has to offer.
AboutContributeAdvertiseNewsletter Sign UpContact
February 2024

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

Thank you to Luke Brokensha for mobilising his friends and local residents recently to host two rubbish clean ups along the Hobart Rivulet after heavy rains.
The warm weather returns...hello summer.
Need a laugh? Check out @theinspiredunemployed feed on Instagram.
Moto Vecchia Cafe in Bellerive and Czegs Cafe in Richmond have joined the Clarence City Council dementia program, creating dementia-friendly spaces for all patrons.
It’s hard to believe it’s not standard practice to have a working phone in every aged care room - shared phones make private conversations impossible and increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Tacks on the tracks. Mountain bikers beware of tacks being left on certain tracks on the mountain.
Just when you think your cousins are alright. NZ Opposition Leader Judith Collins took aim at Tassie during her recent (unsuccessful) campaign, calling us Australia’s “poor cousin.” She also seems worried about us nabbing tech businesses, “It’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your high- tech business? Possibly not,” she said. We beg to differ!