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

    JP pilot program application date extended

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
    The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

    Friday, November 30, 2012

    JP pilot program application date extended

    The Newman Government has given JPs more time to sign up for the recently announced Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Justices of the Peace pilot program.

    Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said JPs from Brisbane, Ipswich, Townsville and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts would now have until 5 December to apply to join the program.

    “The pilot program will utilise the skills of JPs (Magistrates Court) to come up with common sense solutions to minor disputes of less than $5,000 in QCAT,” Mr Bleijie said.

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

    “To be eligible for the legal positions and preside over the panel, JPs must have been a lawyer with at least three years’ standing in Australia.

    “Applicants for the non-legal positions must have held an appointment for at least five years.

    “QCAT will provide training, assessment and evaluation of the applicants before they begin hearing matters.”

    Mr Bleijie said the pilot program was part of the Newman Government’s review of the state’s JP system.

    “JPs play a vital role in the community and the trial is a step towards enhancing that role and addressing the backlogs affecting magistrates courts in these regions,” he said.

    “We have committed $3.5 million over the next four years to deliver this pilot program, outsource the delivery of JP training programs and refocus the JP Branch.

    “Through this additional funding the Newman Government acknowledges the important volunteer role JPs perform in administering our laws and delivering justice services.”

    The pilot program is expected to begin in April 2013.

    The pilot QCAT program will be trialled in Brisbane, Maroochydore, Southport and Townsville and JPs can apply at www.qcat.qld.gov.au.

    [ENDS]  30 November 2012

    Media Contact: Lisa O’Donnell 0400986432 Matt Johnston 0432535893