With Pride We Serve

Introduction


The Gold Coast Justices Association was established by its members in 2006. Our Justices of the Peace(JPs) and Commissioners for Declarations(C.decs) plus all administration staff give their time to maintain and provide this free community service. Our primary aims are to provide a private environment where everyday people can have their personal documents witnessed and, a dependable service that is consistently available and easily accessible.


People who are already registered as a JP(Qual) or C.dec, and want to become even more involved with their local community on the Gold Coast are invited to contact us at secretary@gcjustices.org.au.



JPs and C.decs in Queensland


JPs supply a unique and valuable support to their local communities by witnessing millions of documents and certified copies every year. JPs can be found in many countries and in all States of Australia but the role they play in the community is as varied as the governing rules of those States and countries.


Queensland JPs and C.decs volunteer to serve the public by signing documents that need a qualified witness. Their services range from witnessing and signing formal documents to hearing certain types of court matters. By performing these services, they allow lawyers and the courts to concentrate on complex legal matters.


There are 3 different types of witnessing officers in Queensland, with varying powers and responsibilities,


The Queensland Government Department of Justice and Attorney-General is the authority that sets the duties for each type of witnessing officer.


JPs and C.decs do not give legal advice or interpret legislations. This is the role of solicitors and politicians.



History


Some historians places the origin of the office of JP as early as the reign of Richard the Lion-Hearted (1189-99). Specially selected knights were sent throughout the realm to administer an oath to observe the king's peace to all men above the age of fifteen in the kingdom. Over the next two centuries, this practice of using knights as conservators of the king's peace varied with the power of individual monarchs. Strong kings were able to keep the peace; weak ones were not.


During the reign of Edward III (1327-77), the country was almost continuously at war with France. The fourteenth-century soldier was a notoriously lawless individual. When he was not away fighting, he was at home fighting. Parliaments were primarily called to consider the question of how best to conserve the peace of the realm. The Statute of 34 Ed. III, ch. 1 (1360) is regarded as the law which created the office of JP.


The role of JPs evolved gradually and spread to the colonies as the British Empire expanded.