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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
    The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

    JP trial one step closer

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
    The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

    Monday, October 22, 2012

    JP trial one step closer

    Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has announced the Newman Government’s trial of Justices of the Peace (JP) in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) will commence in early 2013.

    Speaking at the Queensland Justices Association Annual State Conference, Mr Bleijie said there was greater scope to use the knowledge of JPs as a way to deliver swift and fair justice.

    “There are currently 80,000 JPs in Queensland who make a valuable contribution to our community and our justice system,” Mr Bleijie said.

    “The pilot program will utilise the skills of JP (Magistrates Court) and JP (Qual) to come up with common sense solutions to minor civil disputes of less than $3,000 in QCAT.

    “The trial will be used to assess whether the use of JPs in QCAT helps to reduce backlogs by freeing up QCAT adjudicators to deal with more complex matters.

    “We will be also interested to see whether this reduces the cost of hearing disputes and improves the administration of Queensland’s justice system.

    “The JPs who become involved in the pilot program will be given additional training to ensure they are armed with the necessary skills.

    “We have committed $3.5 million over the next four years to deliver not only the trial program, but other improvements to the JP system including refocusing the JP Branch to better assist and support our JPs.

    “Through this additional funding the Newman Government acknowledges the important volunteer role JP’s perform in administering our laws and delivering justice services."

    Member for Ipswich Ian Berry also attended the conference and thanked the local JP's for their services.

    "The JP program plays a vital role in the local community and we are very appreciative of the work they do," Mr Berry said.

    The pilot QCAT program will be trialled in Brisbane, Maroochydore, Ipswich, Southport and Townsville and JP’s can register their interest from 29 October at

    Mr Bleijie also announced five new JP initiatives to be rolled out before the end of 2012:
    ·         establishing a JP advisory council that will provide advice on developments or changes to Queensland’s system

    ·         implementing a mentoring system for newly appointed JPs

    ·         improving the range of professional development programs delivered by the JP Branch

    ·         expanding and promoting the JPs in the Community program

    ·         writing to all major shopping centre managers in Queensland for assistance with JP in the Community sites.

    Further reform will be looked at in 2013, including continuing professional development, five-year registrations and strengthening the de-registration provisions in the Act.

    “Through these initiatives we can ensure our JP system is professional and relevant and importantly that it is rewarding and affordable to those who are actively involved as members,” Mr Bleijie said.
    Media Contact: Lisa O'Donnell 0400 986 432 or Matt Johnston 0432 535 893