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    Media Statements

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

    Important new role for our JPs

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
    The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

    Monday, June 03, 2013

    Important new role for our JPs

    Queensland’s Justices of the Peace step up to an important new role from today, with the start of the Newman Government’s JP (QCAT) pilot program.

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie said some minor matters in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal would now be heard by JPs.

    “Our JPs are trusted and intelligent members of our society,” Mr Bleijie said.

    “During a six month trial, specially selected and trained participants will hear and adjudicate disputes up to $5,000.

    “Duo teams of one legally qualified and one non-legally qualified JP will draw on their broad life experience to form common sense solutions to minor disputes.

    “This trial recognises the substantial contribution our Justices of the Peace perform to our community and gives them an opportunity to improve, develop and expand their role.”

    Mr Bleijie said 111 Justices of the Peace had so far signed up to the pilot program, which will run in Brisbane, Ipswich, Southport, Maroochydore and Townsville.

    “They come from all walks of life and professions, including a retired Magistrate, police officer, fireman, Aboriginal elder and high school teacher,” he said.

    “The JPs have undergone a rigorous selection and training process and they will continue to receive legal support throughout the pilot.

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

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

    QCAT President Justice Alan Wilson said Queensland’s JPs were ready for the new challenge.

    “They bring interest, enthusiasm and a wide diversity of life experience to the role,” Justice Wilson said.

    “They will bring the benefit, the good sense and intelligence that they have gleaned from that experience to solving people’s disputes.”

    [ENDS] 3 June 2013

    Media Contact: Ashley McDermid 0412 731 355 or Katherine Hornbuckle 0402 862 351