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Language no barrier to JP services

Issued: Wednesday, 9 July 2014
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Attorney General Brad Hazzard has launched a State-wide campaign to raise awareness among culturally and linguistically diverse communities about the services provided by Justices of the Peace.

A new JP fact sheet is available in 12 languages and JP workshops are being conducted with leaders from multicultural communities in NSW throughout the year.

“Justices of the Peace don’t exist in many non-English speaking countries and recent discussions I have had with JPs and community members in western Sydney have revealed there is confusion among some of Australia’s newest residents about what JPs do and how to access their services,” Mr Hazzard said.

“For example, a common misconception among multicultural communities is that a person should pay a JP for services they provide.

“However under the Code of Conduct for Justices of the Peace in NSW, a JP cannot accept a fee or gift for their services,” Mr Hazzard said.

Justices of the Peace are relied upon as witnesses for the signing of statutory declarations or affidavits and can certify copies of original documents.

“If you are unable to read or understand written English, the JP should use an interpreter when witnessing your statutory declaration or affidavit to ensure people understand the entirety of the document.”
There are more than 90,000 Justices of the Peace in NSW, with 11 per cent indicating they speak more than one language.

“It is great to see bilingual Justices of the Peace who are playing an important role in helping people whose first language isn’t English to arrange JP services,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Just about everyone will need a JP at some point in their lives, whether it’s in the process of buying a home, accessing superannuation or going to court.”

People can search for a Justice of the Peace in their area by visiting the online public register of JPs at: www.jp.nsw.gov.au.