At present, because of the physical distancing requirements in place as a result of COVID-19, a significant number of Justices of the Peace (JPs) are no longer undertaking their duties.
The Department of Justice supports the decision of any Justice to take this course of action, given that a number of Justices are older members of the community and may be susceptible to an increased risk of contracting the virus. Justices have limited premises from which they can provide services and in those circumstances, it is not considered appropriate for members of the public to visit Justices at their residences.
Notwithstanding this, a small number of Justices are continuing to provide services. See the Department of Justice website for a list of Justices of the Peace.
Please consider whether your document is essential and must be sworn urgently. If it does not need to be done now please consider waiting until the situation improves.
In the event that a Justice is urgently required, it is recommended that you phone Justices in your area to ask whether they are willing to deal with your matter.
Before contacting a Justice, please carefully read the document to see whether a Justice is in fact required. Many of the duties of a Justice can also be undertaken by a Commissioner for Declarations who can:
- witness signatures to documents;
- certify a true copy of an original document; and
- take statutory declarations.
Commissioners for Declarations include:
- bank, building society or credit union officers with 5 or more continuous years of service;
- permanent Commonwealth, State or a Local Government employees with 5 or more continuous years of service;
- police officers; and
- full-time teachers.
See the Department of Justice website for more details about Commissioners for Declarations.
Arrangements are being put in place to allow for electronic witnessing/certifying/taking of statutory declarations. Further details will be published as soon as they become available.