Changes expand eligibility for JP QCAT trial

Published Tuesday, 19 March, 2013 at 03:51 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

The Government’s JP QCAT trial is a step closer after the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Justices of the Peace) Amendment Bill 2013 was introduced in Parliament today.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said based on feedback received during consultation, the original criteria had been amended to make more JP’s eligible for the trial.

“The provision for legally qualified JP’s to have five years’ experience as a JP and three years’ post-admission experience has been removed,” Mr Bleijie said.

“This means any legally qualified JP can now enrol in the program, including those who applied originally but did not meet the criteria.

“Lawyers who intend to become a JP can also register for the program and the Government has increased the remuneration to $100 for both members of the panel.

“The original proposal of one legally qualified JP and one JP to hear minor disputes of up to $5,000 will remain and the locations have not changed.

“This trial is about recognising the substantial voluntary contribution of JPs to the community and providing opportunities to improve, develop and expand their role.

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

Mr Bleijie said JPs were great contributors to the community and the program was part of the Newman Government’s rejuvenation of the JP branch.

“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,” he said.

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

[ENDS] 19 March 2013

Media contact: Matt Johnston 0432 535 893