Justice of the Peace initiative
Justices of the Peace (JPs) have been a part of QCAT since a trial was implemented in Brisbane, Ipswich, Maroochydore, Southport and Townsville in June 2013.
JPs have brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to resolve some minor civil disputes (MCDs) including non-urgent residential tenancy disputes, minor debt matters, consumer and trader disputes, dividing fence matters and property damage disputes valued up to $5,000.
A panel of two JPs, one of whom must be legally qualified, constitute the tribunal as part of the initiative.
The JP initiative recognises the significant voluntary contribution of JPs in Queensland. It aims to provide access to swift and fair justice by reducing time and costs associated with MCDs and allowing QCAT adjudicators, and magistrates to focus on complex matters.
The average time to hear all QCAT MCDs has significantly reduced to just over four weeks (from six weeks), and high clearance rates maintained in the MCD jurisdiction.
Ongoing research shows user satisfaction for MCDs heard by a JP panel is comparable to overall user satisfaction in the MCD jurisdiction.
The use of JPs will continue in the current five locations through 2016-17.
As at 31 December 2016:
- 76 QCAT Justices of the Peace (JPs) are appointed.
- Since 2013, QCAT JPs have heard over 11,300 matters across five sites.
- JPs continually deliver low levels of adjournment, appeal and complaint.
- Six JPs have since been appointed as either a QCAT adjudicator or sessional member.
Expressions of interest
Recruitment of JPs is currently closed. To register your interest in future opportunities please email QCAT.JPTraining@justice.qld.gov.au.
For more information, access the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Justices of the Peace) Amendment Bill( http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/Bills/54PDF/2013/QCATJPAmdtB13E.pdf ) that was introduced to Parliament on 19 March 2013.