A Justice of the Peace (JP) is a person of unquestionable integrity who seeks to promote and protect the rights of individuals and helps to give justice to those persons in a particular community.
Any citizen, club, organization or other such body or enterprise can recommend that an individual be appointed a JP. The Ministry of Justice provides supervision for the various processes involved in the appointment of Justices of the Peace and ensuring that records are accurately maintained.
How is a Justice of the Peace Selected?
Any citizen, club, organization or other such body or enterprise can recommend that an individual be appointed a JP. The recommendations must be made to the Custos of the parish in which the individual resides. The Custos will then enquire into the background of the person to assist the Parish Advisory Committee in determining suitability for appointment.
Required Criteria for Appointment as a Justice of the Peace
To be successfully appointed as a Justice of the Peace, the candidate must fulfill the following criteria:
+ Be a Jamaican citizen who is resident in Jamaica at the time of appointment
+ Be able to read and speak English fluently
+ Be between the ages of 25-70 years
+ Be a person of unquestionable integrity
+ Be a person who commands the respect and confidence of the local community
+ Be a person who has given good service to the community and the wider Jamaica
+ Be a person who demonstrates the potential for continued service.
+ Be able to communicate and interact at all levels and with all types of individuals
In addition to upholding the rights of citizens, the JP is required to:-
- Serve as a Justice in a Court of Petty Sessions
- Attend the Children’s Courts and Drug Court
- Issue summonses
- Consider applications for bail
- Attend police stations
- Explain and sign documents
- Sit on licensing panels
- Give counsel and advice
The office of a Justice of the Peace is a voluntary one; therefore a JP must not charge or accept any reward for services performed in this capacity. Every JP is expected to complete a period of training before he/she is commissioned into office.
The Justice Training Institute, a Department of the Ministry of Justice, has the responsibility to design, develop, organise, coordinate, and conduct training programmes for Justices of the Peace.
Interested In Becoming or Recommending a JP?
1. Send us an email using the feedback form here and make sure to select the appropriate subject.
2. Make sure to include a contact number in the feedback box and some information about yourself or the recommended person as to the reasons they may be suitable for this appointment.
3. As mentioned above, there will be an enquiry into the background of yourself or the recommended person in order to assist the Parish Advisory Committee in determining suitability for appointment.